A Shock to the System
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Top Customer Reviews
What does he do? Well, let's just say that his solution to these two problems ends in the population of the world changing, shall we?
The dialogue in this very smart blackly comic thriller is sharp as a razor; it's a lot of fun to watch Mr. Caine give us his best as a put upon exec who's more than capable of flying into a rage at the drop of a hat and of executing his very sneaky and well thought out plans for revenge. Also on hand is Elizabeth Perkins, an equally intelligent office colleague who attracts Caine in more ways than one, but does not suspect him of any wrongdoing at all. That is, until...
One of the best office comedies around, A Shock to the System is a stinging portrait of greed and selfishness in America--for my money, far better than the somewhat overblown Wall Street. This is a movie that gives you a great evening's entertainment and part of the reason for that may be to secretly exact vengeance upon those corporate bigwigs who've prevented you from getting a job for so long, given this miserable economy.
Great job. Highly recommended.
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.
A great performance by Michael Caine, well-crafted script, and capable direction.
Made during the era of "downsizing" and "re-engineering" of corporations in the 1980's, "A Shock to the System" demonstrates the road to success in an age of cut-throat capitalism which regards employees as objects to be used, discarded, and destroyed, is to become a destroyer of persons. The latter is considered a crime, while the former is considered "adding values for the stockholders." Caine's character's rise on the corporate ladder is directly related to his willingness to regard objects to be elliminated rather than as human beings.
Typical of the film's polished style is the title, which refers to a home wiring accident which briefly injures Caine's character, Caine's pass-over for promotion and humiliation, and also Caine's recipe for personal success - administering shock to the corporation's "system."
Michael Caine plays Graham Marshall , the man awaiting that promotion. His wife, played by Swoozie Kurts celebrates his anxiously awaited promotion. Frustrated that his hated life will never change, he devises a plan to take revenge on everyone who humiliated him, and he starts with his wife. The film has several actors who will surprise you because they are so young!
Michael Caine is a genius in this type of film. It is not a nice film, per se. Elizabeth McGovern plays a colleague, young, lithe and adoring. It takes awhile for her to realize what a new life with Graham would be all about. This is a film that keeps you off balance, I was never sure which way the wind would blow, so to speak. Will Patton, ( you will recognize him, right away), plays a Connecticut State Policemen. Always prepared, ever sympathetic, but he has a mind that thinks like a criminal. Why he is the only State Policeman in the state to conduct murder investigations is never explained, but he must be one heck of a busy man!
This film will bring laughs, some 'uh, huh's', and some indecision. I liked it, Michael Caine is a terrific actor, and he brings his best to this film.
Recommended. prisrob 06-30-13
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant Michael Caine. So very dated it seems now, but dark and mean. My evil twin loved it.Published 5 months ago by Ellie
Michael Caine was excellent and I loved the surprising role he played as the top CEO executive with so much professional control and shrinking power..Published 10 months ago by Dawn Villere
A brilliant, dark, quirky, funny, satisfying film. Caine's performance is hypnotic. Elizabeth McGovern is so sweet. Will Patton is the perfect cop. Read morePublished 15 months ago by George R. Lasher