Shutterspeed (2000)

(2000)- *1\2

Directed by: Mark Sobel

Starring: Steve "Sting" Borden, David Lovgren, and Daisy Fuentes

Riley Davis (Borden/Sting) is a Seattle cop with sunglasses, a Harley, and an attitude. While Riley is with Narcotics, his brother Cliff (Lovgren) is with Homicide. There is bad blood between them because of something that happened in their past that we won't spoil here. The brothers must form an uneasy alliance when a mysterious camera with one photo saved on it appears, and the baddies want it. Bad. There are some murders and attempted murders, all because of this elusive camera. Things get real when Riley's fiancee Kenzie (Fuentes) is kidnapped by the camera-seeking baddies. Riley finally snaps out of his somnambulism and is forced to confront the truth - about his brother, his past, his girlfriend, and, of course, the camera. What is the true frame rate of the SHUTTERSPEED?

Okay, here's the truth about Shutterspeed. It's not funny, wacky, crazy, or off-kilter enough to have gained any sort of cult following. It takes itself oddly seriously almost the whole time, to the point where it's even boring and dour in many spots. HUGE mistake. This is a telefilm, shot in Canada for the TNT network, and your main star that's carrying the project is Sting from WCW. Now is not the time to go all serious on us. 

The filmmakers should have seized this unique opportunity and let their hair down and went nutso. Something along the lines of One Man Force (1989) meets Stone Cold (1991). But they did not do that. In fact, they did the complete opposite. They went the bland, safe route big time. What a missed opportunity.

Maybe Sting, credited under his "real name", Steve Borden, was attempting to distance himself from wrestling and show he could do something different, perhaps something that could spin off into a TV series. This might explain the determined, almost willful refusal to have some silly fun. Sure, it's inevitable that some silly fun will leak out, but these moments happen towards the end of the film, and they're few and far between. They should have put them in the beginning in order to grab the audience's attention, not save them for the end, by which time we don't really care.

A couple of light shooting/fight/chase scenes are here, almost like they don't want to be and are dragged along. There is a WYC that doesn't much care for Riley Davis's ways. So that's all well and good, and Daisy Fuentes is certainly an attractive and welcome presence. But we couldn't help but expect more from Borden's Kevin Sorbo-esque meatheaded presence. Producer Eric Bischoff should have demanded more scenes of Borden yelling and getting angry, which happens only once. Director Mark Sobel has done a lot of TV, plus the features Access Code (1984) and Sweet Revenge (1987), so he seemingly was right for this project - on paper. But what was needed was a go-for-broke, wildman approach, which was sorely missing.

In the end, Shutterspeed is not exactly pulse-pounding. It's really a classic case of missed potential. But it's not too late: both Sting the wrestler, and Sting the musician are both still alive as of this writing. They should team up and appear as Cops on the Edge in a movie called Double Sting. Isn't that something we would all watch?

Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty

1 comment:

Roger Renman said...

Since Sting is the former singer of The Police, he would be a dead ringer as an ex-cop, and since Sting has retired from wrestling, he could be the ex-wrestler, in a buddy action movie.