Genius Products // 2008 // 86 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // May 30th, 2008
Some lines cannot be crossed.
A washed-up race-car driver. An ill-tempered arms smuggler. His hot daughter. No, it's not the feature film adaptation of my life story. It's a hot caper picture starring Scott Baio!
Mitch Camponella (Samuel Page) is a badass driver whose mistakes on the track cost his father $60,000. Wracked by guilt, Mitch accepts a lucrative job as a mechanic for flashy billionaire importer/exporter Frank Chase (Baio) and soon finds himself thrust into the middle of a covert FBI investigation. The target? Frank Chase himself, who turns out not to be that great a guy. Sumbitch sells weapons to terrorists!
Mitch ends up going undercover for the Feds, though things get complicated when he falls head over heels for Chase's hot daughter (Taylor Cole). Can he put his street smarts to work and put Chase behind bars? There's an excellent chance.
I don't know if I've ever seen so much effort exerted in a film to obstruct an actress's nipples as in Finish Line. Taylor Cole disrobes in several love scenes with Samuel Page and the camera angles and edits are strategically manufactured to ensure that not even a smidgen of areola is revealed. There you go, some pointless trivia in case the question appears on the next version of Scene It.
The rest of Finish Line is not nearly as memorable. A by-the-numbers, low-impact actioner, it fails to deliver enough high-octane thrills and plot twists to make it stand out in the crowded field of similarly crafted made-for-TV shoot'em ups. Actually, that's not an accurate description, because there's not much shooting going down here. The mayhem is limited to a Mercedes car chase in the beginning and a gasoline truck chase in the end, the latter of which is the action finale and somehow manages to be boring. How you can have a gasoline truck chase -- that of course ends in a huge fireball -- be boring is beyond me, and a testament to the insipidness of the staging of the action set-pieces in Finish Line.
But all is not lost. The feature is slick and stocked with enough gonzo acting to prevent it from becoming a complete letdown. Baio and Page bring some pretty good stuff to their roles. As the heavy, Baio sneers and saunters and talks trash and chomps on his cigars and dumps 10 gallons of hair product onto his skull and his performance is goofy sure, but not so over-the-top where it becomes a joke. Page is a good lead, has a solid physical presence and though he's in little more than a budget rental, puts enough effort into his lead to make it believable. Taylor Cole is sufficiently gorgeous and smarmy when her character calls for it -- which accounts for the only twist in the movie.
Look, I've pretty much run out of things to say about this movie. And yes I know that's pathetic, especially considering I wasted a paragraph talking about nipples.
The disc specs are adequate -- a clean 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and a 2.0 stereo mix that works. No extras.
Nondescript but not abysmal, Finish Line won't poop on you brain. How's that for a ringing endorsement?
It finishes. Barely.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Genius Products
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 86 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated