Combustible Celluloid
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With: Christian Slater, Selma Blair, John Heard, Angie Harmon, Kevin Tighe, Colm Feore, Robert Loggia
Written by: Ruth Epstein
Directed by: Harvey Kahn
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 107
Date: 06/17/2005

The Deal (2005)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Corporate Shenanigans

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

A good cast is wasted in this awkward corporate thriller, which tracks an illegal plot to close an multi-billion dollar oil deal by secretly transferring oil from warring countries to a neutral area with no oil resources of its own. Most of the action takes place in board meetings, with characters handing each other secret memos or talking on the phone; it's a shockingly non-visual movie. Screenwriter Ruth Epstein and director Harvey Kahn seem to realize this and so they desperately try to shove in traditional thriller elements like car chases, murders, kidnappings and escapes, but these are handled with less professionalism and feel tacked on. In one embarrassingly bad sequence, a character previously thought to be a good guy reveals their true nature by switching to a Russian accent! Christian Slater stars as the hero duped into working on the deal; he falls in love with an idealistic college graduate (Selma Blair) who helps set him straight. Robert Loggia snarls through a couple of scenes as a hardened CEO.

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