31 North 62 East (2009)
Flawed but Fascinating
With his re-election at the fore front of his mind Prime Minister John Hammond (John Rhys-Davies) is less than thrilled when a huge arms deal with the Middle East looks set to crash due to the death of an Islamic King's daughter at the hands of British commandos. To keep the arms deal on track Hammond sells out the commandos by handing over their location. The following strike on them leads to all but one being killed, Captain Jill Mandelson (Heather Peace) who ends up captured and tortured for months before managing to escape. But her escape doesn't go unnoticed and on her arrival back in Britain is assassinated due to what she knows. It leads to her sister Kimberley (Heather Peace) using her military skills to find out what happened and get revenge.
In the opening scene of "31 North 62 East" we meet the Prime Minister played by John Rhys-Davies and seems like it was based on former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott but played well over the top so that for not one minute do you think it is a real person. It sets the tone for what is to follow throughout the movie which takes its name from the coordinates of where the British Commandos are and it is a case that every few scenes we get an over the top performance.
What we also get thanks to a lack of character development is a storyline which initially is not easy to follow as we have no understanding of the characters. It means that in one of the movie's few really powerful scenes, involving the torture of Jill, the impact doesn't come from feeling for Jill but out of what we see as long pins are forced beneath her finger nails.
Now this along with some other things makes "31 North 62 East" flawed as a movie but not flawed as a concept. Whilst the corrupt Prime Minister might not be new the idea of a woman commando being caught and tortured and then her sister turning vigilante is a nice twist on the obvious. It almost feels like director Tristan Loraine made this on a small budget to try and attract the attention of a backer to then make a bigger budget version.
What this all boils down to is that "31 North 62 East" as a movie has a lot of issues but it is the basic concept which works and would make for an exciting political thriller if it had the money and right people behind it.
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