Operator full movie review - Not a great film, but a pleasant distraction
My rational mind tells me I should dislike this film rather strongly, yet accepting it as a moderate-budget direct-to-video potboiler, I found it watchable.
The movie has a number of significant issues.
First, and most distracting, not a single shot looked as if the camera were locked down. Few things are more annoying than excessive use of jiggly-cam shots. The Steadicam operator did a credible job of masking the camera movement with subtle pans, tilts and zooms, but the constant motion is distracting.
Mischa Barton was absolutely stunning and statuesque ten years ago and had the looks to play the total babe leading lady roles often found in action films. Now she has the looks more often associated with romantic comedies ? attractive, but not so stunningly beautiful to seem threatening to housewives in the audience. Several lines of dialogue comment on her ensemble and she is framed above the waist in every shot, even when a wider shot would seem better suited. Not being familiar with her or her prior work, my suspicion was that she was pregnant and the filmmakers wanted to mask it, which proved distracting as her character has supposedly been separated for a year. I've since learned that she is a designer, so the wardrobe may have been one of her designs.
Several plot twists were fairly obvious. The only one that caught me by surprise involved Ving Rhames.
The emergency call center procedures seemed realistic, except for failure to transfer calls to a busy line and the manner in which calls were assigned to operators, which seemed contrived. Some other police procedures seemed suspect.
Everything seemed to happen in a vacuum. There were no bystanders, pedestrians, motorists or people trying to enter the bank, and no employees or guards at two locations. With one exception, there was no other traffic on the roads during car chases or other driving shots.
Many aspects don't make sense. One would think the heist would require a team larger than Ali Baba's band of forty thieves, but they seem to have pulled it off with fewer than ten. People survive horrendous car accidents without wearing seat belts. A police officer fires at a location where a hostage is being held. Cellular tracking is uncannily precise. One officer wears an arm patch for DeKalb Technical College Public Safety Police.
The plot has more holes than a wheel of Emmental cheese. But despite the flaws, the movie is fairly enjoyable. Luke Goss does a credible job with what he's given. Ving Rhames plays a familiar role with a satisfying undercurrent of malice. The car chases are fairly good. Other than the seemingly complete reliance on jiggly-cam shots (and the Steadicam operator(s) did a superior job), the production values were adequate.
It's not a great film, but it's a pleasant distraction if one doesn't take it too seriously.