HTS Moderator , Reviewer
HTS Overall Score:64
Luke Goss once had a fairly decent film career ahead of himself, playing the villain prince in “Hellboy II”, as well as the villain “Blade II”, but has since faded into Direct to Video for the remainder of acting stint in Hollywood. I always liked the British actor, as he has a charming voice and physique that makes him perfect for action roles. “Operator” itself is more of a thriller in the vein of WWE Films “The Call”, where a helpless female 911 operator is subject to a criminal mastermind with a much more devious plan that what is on the surface. “Operator”, seems more of a cheap rip off of the afore mentioned film, relying on every single cliché in the book. It’s a passable action movie, with a nice little twist near the end pertaining to the main villain, but in the end, a passable action movie if you’re bored on a Friday night.
A year after their daughter is nearly burned alive in a fire, 911 operator Pamela Miller (Mischa Barton) and her husband, Officer Jeremy Miller (Luke Goss) are on the outs. Pamela blames Jeremy for leaving her alone that night for a drink with the guys, and Jeremy is doing his best to win himself into her good graces again. Still dealing with the aftermath and guilt, Pamela dreams of that fateful 911 call even to this day. However today will bring her closer to the event than ever before. A mysterious man calls in with voice scrambling software (Ving Rhames) telling her that a crime will be committed at X spot at Y time. Not sure whether to believe him, Pamela sends out a unit (which just so happens to be Jeremy and his partner Howard (Michael Pare) to check out the scene. Low and behold the crime in question happens to be a semi-truck plowing into their squad car. Refusing to deal with the mysterious man anymore, Pamela soon realizes she has no choice, as smooth talking criminal has their daughter.
Sending the pair of cops out on escapade after escapade, the evil mastermind dances them around like puppets, while Pamela and Jeremy covertly try to figure out what’s going on via cell phone texts. Something else is afoot, as the little crimes that the two cops are sent out to foil all seem to be fabricated for their benefit. Jeremy becomes especially suspicious when he realizes that the crimes all create a triangle around one of the town banks. Delving even deeper into the theory Jeremy and Howard find out that there is more to this little game of cat and mouse than anyone could have possibly imagined.
“Operator” is a simple, yet passable action movie. Clichés are extremely common and pretty much every twist and turn is pretty obvious from the get go. You can tell who one of the main hidden villains is just after 15 minutes. It’s supposed to be a big surprise for the viewer, but they didn’t exactly hide it very well, and some of the twists and turns seem to be pretty confusing, even for the viewer. I have no idea why the mysterious voice on the phone had Jeremy and Howard investigate so many crimes, in the grand scheme of things it made NO difference to his plans whatsoever. I WILL say this, they kept who Ving Rhames character WAS under wraps quite nicely. There is very little telegraphing of his identity simply because he wasn’t shown as being relevant until the end of the movie. It made the reveal a bit more appealing.
The action was pretty good, although there were a lot of mind boggling scenarios and poor editing. When Luke Goss is in the bank doing a Mexican standoff with robber the scenes switch between him two handing his Glock to his one handing it about a dozen times in the matter of a minute. Not to mention the final showdown where Pamela and Jeremy KNOW that their daughter is in one of 3 vehicles in a car chase, but they continue to ram ,shoot and flip every single one of them to get them to stop, even though it likely could have killed her in reality.
Not Rated by the MPAA
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=58529[/img]“Operator” is shot 100% digitally and has that sort of glossy digital look that cheap movies have. While detail is generally very good, the contrast is boosted WAAAAAAAAAY up there, giving some very jaundiced and sickly looks to skin tones as well as greying out the black levels. There’s kind of a green hue to the film, accentuated by the strong contrast levels and excessive blooming. Detail and clarity on clothing ex excellent, although sometimes the cheap photography doesn’t do much to give the movie much depth.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=58537[/img]The 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track fares a bit better. Dialog is strong, with good localization in the front speakers, and I felt the balance of the dynamics worked well with the movie. Surrounds are used pretty extensively to trickle in ambient background noises, to the crashing and banging of a full-fledged shoot out. LFE is fairly constrained for most of the film, but the gunshots sound like heavy duty cannons in the cop’s hands. The final explosion that takes out the SWAT team did some serious pant leg flapping.
“Operator” isn’t a slick big budget film, and it isn’t going to wow action fans at all. At the same time it’s not overly insulting or as awful as many other DTV films (“SWAT: Unit 887” comes to mind). Action is pretty good, the sound design is nice and it makes for a passable action movie if it arrives via Netflix or Redbox. Audio is very good, with the video being a tad mediocre, but I could see a rental for this one.
Starring: Luke Goss, Ving Rhames, Mischa Barton
Directed by: Amariah Olson, Obin Olson
Written by: Dwain Worrell
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 AVC
Audio: ENGLISH: Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English DD 2.0
Runtime: 88 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: November 3rd, 2015
Buy Operator Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Mediocre Rental
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