The latest from director Phillip Noyce crams together the boom-boom political machinations of his Tom Clancy adaptations (Clear and Present Danger, Patriot Games) with the intimate intricacies of his recent return to small-scale stuff (Rabbit-Proof Fence, The Quiet American); the studio's selling it as a firebombing thriller, when it's much, much more. And what it's definitely not is the standard-issue movie about apartheid; there's no white protagonist, no pale-faced hero riding in on his high horse to save the oppressed black man in need of his wisdom and strength. It's the story of Patrick Chamusso (Derek Luke), a family man who intended no harm till harm was done to him. After the Secunda oil refinery at which Patrick's a keep-yer-head-down foreman is partially destroyed, Patrick's arrested, detained, and severely beaten by thugs who work for Security Branch Colonel Nic Vos (Tim Robbins), a family man who considers himself nothing more than a good soldier. As a true-life tale or metaphor for the making of martyrs, it's gripping stuff -- a big-scale thriller and small-scale heartbreaker about a man pushed too far.
Phillip NoyceTim Robbins, Derek Luke, Bonnie Henna, Mncedisi Shabangu, Terry Pheto, Tumisho Masha, Sithembiso Khumalo, Michelle BurgersShawn SlovoTim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Robyn SlovoFocus Features