'Momentum': Film Review

MOMENTUM Still 1 -H 2015
Courtesy of Starz Digital

"Momentum" is all this chase has going for it.

A thief gets stuck with more than the diamonds she went after.

A tip for high-level criminals: Never take a heist job where your boss is a United States senator. Olga Kurylenko learns that the hard way in Momentum, a daft action flick that nevertheless has her outsmarting every goon a corrupt pol can throw at her. With one senseless set piece after another, the film's eponymous forward movement should carry it out of theaters quickly, notwithstanding the brief presence of a slumming Morgan Freeman in a role that might well have been shot in half a day.

Morgan is the senator, who has hired Kurylenko's Alex and partners to steal a bag of diamonds, which unbeknownst to them has a very important USB stick hidden inside. (Given the money they clearly spent on disposable getaway trucks and high-tech Power Rangers disguises, it's puzzling that each felon only stands to make 30 grand for his efforts.) But amid some confusing double-crosses, Alex's sometimes-boyfriend conspirator is killed, sending her on the run from your usual impeccably tailored villain: James Purefoy's "Mr. Washington," who looks like he just stepped in from a 1960s French policier, wants that USB drive very much.

The chase hops all around Cape Town with implausible speed, its action punctuated by Laurent Eyquem's overheated, generic score and exposition scenes in which castmembers act at each other hard enough to forget what insipid stuff the screenplay has given them to read. Purefoy at least seems to be having a little fun strutting through the mayhem, but the same can't be said for our heroine, who, as the movie itself points out — right before it admits that Washington is a one-dimensional character — has only one facial expression in her arsenal.

Production companies: Azari Media, Thaba Media

Cast: Olga Kurylenko, James Purefoy, Jenna Saras, Morgan Freeman

Director: Stephen S. Campanelli

Screenwriters: Adam Marcus, Debra Sullivan

Producers: Donald A. Barton, Anton Ernst

Executive producers: Colette Aguilar, Raja Collins, Tai Duncan, Paul Schiff

Director of photography: Glen MacPherson

Production designer: Thomas Gubb

Costume designers: Dihantus Engelbrecht, Stefanie Lain

Editor: Doobie White

Music: Laurent Eyquem

No rating, 95 minutes