A Shock To The System [Blu-ray]
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Hes killing on impulse … and he wont rest until he gets a corner office.
The loyal and hardworking executive Graham Marshall (screen legend Michael Caine) has paid his dues. He has suffered through mounting bills, the indignities of climbing the corporate ladder, and a nagging wife (Swoosie Kurtz, Sisters) with only an anxiously awaited promotion to keep him going. But that all changes when his promotion is instead given to a boorish associate (Peter Riegert, National Lampoons Animal House). Annoyed and frustrated, Graham unleashes his rage … in the form of an accidental killing with which he gets away clean! Emboldened by his newfound talent for murder, Graham begins to rethink his business strategy: with deadly results.
Elizabeth McGovern (Ragtime, The Handmaids Tale), Will Patton (Remember The Titans, No Way Out), and Jenny Wright (Near Dark, The Lawnmower Man) also star in this electrifyingly pitch-black comedy of Madison Avenue and murder.
Top customer reviews
There are undeniable elements of dark humor in this movie. The other reviews are testament to this part of the movie. There is however more social commentary present. Corporate attitude and disparity in the social classes are plainly set out and exhibited. This can be seen in the many portions of the movie where Caine the corporate warrior walks past homeless people camped in the streets of New York. The superficial camaraderie and brutal, smiling infighting of corporate life has rarely been better captured on film.
The movie features the music of Gary Chang played by the Turtle Island Quartet, which adds to the bittersweet atmosphere of this film.
The topping of this movie is the acting of Michael Caine. Caine brilliantly portrays a corporate officer who has been turned down to a promotion. Through machinations and scheming, he covets the higher position and eliminates everyone in his way. His acting in this movie is a gem in a long and stellar career.
Ever miss getting a promotion at work ? Ever been replaced in your job by someone much younger ? Ever been told that the "companies taking a different direction", and you won't be heading in that direction because your "services are no longer needed" ? Or, the classic: "Sorry, but we're 'downsizing', and a number of our employee's will not be needed anymore."
Okay, well if you've ever been involved with the "corporate world" for any length of time, and, in any of those situations listed above, you'll understand the frustration of Caine's character (Graham Marshall)...and his need for not only "getting even", but for total revenge !
I love Elizabeth McGovern anyway, and she is beautiful and perfect in her role here with Caine as the one he can turn to in his "time of need". (She has since moved to England, and has received great Reviews for her work in the highly acclaimed BBC Production of "Downton Abbey".)
I will not spoil the film by giving you any hints as to how things eventually work out for Caine & his cohorts: I'll just say this is one of the BEST Black Comedies that you've probably never seen.
Swoozie Kurtz, Peter Riegert, Will Patton, and a super-cast all add to the mix. "A SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM" is available on DVD and can also be downloaded. Watch & enjoy !!
Michael Caine may be at his best in this movie...the story includes watching Caine deal with his clueless tennis mom wife who has grown accustom to his ability to always pull off the impossible and come out on top...providing her with her every whim. He has grown tired of the daily grind over decades of commuting to the corporate slime pit and when he gets the corporate bird thrown at him he stumbles into the means for revenge.
You become a part of his plight as you find yourself pulling for him to get away with murder....because you know how it feels to be the one screwed.
Caine is brilliant as he delivers quip after quip to his new boss (who has just leap frogged him into the position he has been working for for decades, only to be snubbed for "not fitting into the new program somehow")...the story is very believeable and the twists of the story turn on where his cigarette lighter which ties nicely into the symbolism of the subordinates lighting their superior's cigars throughout the movie.
If you are looking for a humorous and well played drama with great acting by all the players this is a sleeper which will become one of your must have DVD's. I have watched it 30 or more times over the years and it is still one of my favorites. You won't be disappointed in this movie. I hope they produce it in BluRay!