Review: ‘Hot Seat’

Mel Gibson And Kevin Dillon Star In Cheesy Cyber Thriller That's Easily Forgettable

Hot Seat is the latest cyber thriller to come out that features a cast of veteran actors who do their best to bring real action to life. The film is directed by James Cullen Bressack (Fortress, Survive the Game) and written by Leon Langford (Stateside) & Collin Watts (Engrossed). IT expert Orlando Friar (Kevin Dillon, Poseidon, Entourage) starts his day off with a morning jog. As he is fulfilling his morning routine and not far from Orlando’s home is another situation happening that involves a car bombing. Clearly noticeable yet Orlando (Dillon) shrugs it off as if it’s no big deal at all. Wouldn’t be my first reaction but OK. He returns home and informs his wife Kim (Linda Hull, Survive the Night, 10 Minutes Gone) that he’s been called into work even though it’s supposed to be his day off AND it’s his teenage daughter’s birthday. Kim (Hull) is upset and admits she has been for a while as she hands Orlando an envelope of -surprise, surprise- divorce papers. 

With his morning already off to a bad start, Orlando gets to work to find that he is the only one at his office. At least he has the office to himself and dives right into taking IT help questions incidentally, while standing up. Orlando is finally able to sit down when his soon to be ex calls in so he can wish his daughter Zoey (Anna Harr, Bethany) a happy birthday. She keeps the conversation short as she is irritated that he is not there for her. His day goes from bad to worse as the action takes off when an unseen hacker taps into the call and orders Orlando to steal digital funds online—or have his daughter abducted. To further ensure that Orlando will do as he is told, the mysterious hacker has Orlando find the hair-trigger bomb strapped to his desk chair. The bomb is the main trigger that will set off more bombs that are strategically placed throughout the entire office building. 

Meanwhile, fearless bomb duo experts Wallace Reed (Oscar Winner Mel Gibson, Braveheart) and Jackson (Eddie Steeples, My Name is Earl, The Guest Book, Jiu Jitsu) are partners who wisecrack on each other, mostly about their age. They catch wind of the first bomb that took place earlier that day and based on evidence found, believe that the bomber has more in store. A second bombing takes place that the hacker has blamed Orlando for. Wallace & Jackson arrive on scene to find that something bigger is going on and they are not alone. Sergeant Tobias (Sam Asghari, Black Monday) is the egotistical lead SWAT guy who wants to take out Orlando immediately however, Wallace & Jackson don’t think that it’s a good idea. They are able to buy more time by convincing the gum chewing superior in charge, Chief Pam Connelly (Shannon Doherty (Beverly Hills, 90210) to hold off as long as possible. Tension mounts as Orlando races to clear his name and expose the real terrorist—without getting himself blown to smithereens as well.

Hot Seat is a mediocre cyber thriller that is predictable, cheesy, lacks any real action, and underwhelms with acting performances and script writing. Wallace & Jackson come across as a knock off version of the Lethal Weapon films infamous pair of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover’s characters, Riggs and Murtaugh. Aside from Kevin Dillon’s character, the remainder of the cast pop in and out of scenes with minimal and choppy dialogue. Situations happen throughout the film that are oddly placed or don’t belong at all. There’s no chemistry or believable emotions conveyed with most of the characters and almost every scene felt plainly staged. Orlando (Dillon) was forced to hack and couldn’t concentrate on doing his job unless he could listen to his music of long as it wasn’t country music, per the new hacker. Had to have that big scene with that whole point AND it’s the only time  Orlando (Dillon) actually uses it. Wasteful and pointless. The film further leads into the whole ‘ time-sensitive’ case of Orlando’s predicament but the writing and cinematography dance around it rather than actually rendering it. I was expecting to get a lot more out of Mel Gibson but even he looked bored with his role. Hot Seat is a cheesy thriller that is good for at least one watch but will be quickly and easily forgettable.

Hot Seat will release in select theaters, On Demand and Digital on July 1.