Allumination Filmworks // 2007 // 100 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // April 11th, 2008
Life in the fast lane is murder.
What happens when a spoiled rich kid gets a taste of coke dealer-level nocturnal bliss? This!
Tristan Price (Jessie Metcalfe) has it all -- an easy path to a lucrative career as an attorney, a gorgeous blond bombshell girlfriend (Monica Keena), a family richer than God and a group of best friends motivated to give him the greatest night of his life. However, the evening of strip-barhopping and tequila shots turns into something a lot edgier when Tristan connects with the mysterious Sebastian Cole (Corey Large) a drug dealer with a penchant for violence.
Tristan can't resist the appeal of Sebastian's lifestyle and he soon finds himself trapped in a downward spiral of womanizing, drugs, debauchery and gunplay and despite the pleas of his brother, girlfriend and family, he sinks deeper and deeper -- until Sebastian finally reveals his true intentions and Tristan ends up with much more than he can handle.
Loaded isn't a great movie, but it is consistently entertaining. I think your level of enjoyment will evolve directly in proportion to how much you can buy that a well-bred, entitled rich college kid would fly off the deep end too far and so deep so that he's cradling handguns and assaulting gang members in bathrooms a mere day and a half after studying for his LSATs.
If that's a conceit you can swallow, Loaded should keep you engaged. While the script makes it abundantly clear that Tristan is a bundle of volatile emotion thanks to his controlling, impossible-to-please father, how that leads to the kid turning into a supporting character from Reservoir Dogs remains a mystery. If you can move past this credibility stretch -- and I eventually did, or at least didn't let it gnaw at me throughout the runtime -- the good performances and copious amount of energy injected into the direction made for a decent time.
Metcalfe and Large are responsible for most of the heavy lifting and they're up to it. I've never seen either of these guys before, but they bring great chemistry to the film and play off each other -- whether they're pals or mortal enemies -- with success. As the wide-eyed criminal newbie, Metcalfe does "way-over-in-his-head" with the degree of desperation necessary for the character; and when the unforeseen double-cross hits him he transitions seamlessly from slack-jawed in disbelief to badass assertive. Again, he's new to me, but apparently his reputation precedes him as the disc case proclaims: "Hottie Jesse Metcalfe Packs Heat in this Sex Action-Thriller!" I initially though Jessie Metcalfe was a woman from this accolade, and when I found out his gender, frankly, I was confused. (OK, there's a pointless digression coming on, so if you're about done with this review I suggest you skip down to "The Verdict.")
This "Hottie Jesse Metcalfe" stuff strikes me as odd. Who is this film being marketed to? Adolescent girls? No way. You've got alpha males sniffing cocaine, shooting fools, and hanging out at nudie bars staring at nipples. This is not a movie for The Babysitters Club. I guess it's just "hottie" I take issue with and I bring it up for no other reason than I'm comfortable with what I've said already and I want to pad this review a little more. So, helpful tip to DVD promotions companies: know your audience, and don't stock your writers' pool with castoffs from the Tiger Beat editorial board.
Video (2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen) and audio (5.1) are both well-performing. The glitz associated with high-rolling coke dealing (right?) pushes the colors well in the coverall clean transfer and the audio mix is loud and active. Extras: a decent making-of featurette and a gag reel.
All right, Loaded moves quickly, features fun performances and -- that's about it. Don't go in expecting non-stop shootouts and realism and you should be OK.
Not too guilty.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Allumination Filmworks
* 2.35:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Gag Reel