Torn Apart (2004)
Carrere's Big Decision
With a medical review hanging over her head following the death of a patient Dr. Vicki Westin (Tia Carrere - True Lies) at least has her birthday to put a smile on her face. But what should be a happy day turns into a horror when her husband and daughter are kidnapped and she is given 48 hours to decide which one is to live. Not only that a colleague is murdered and she ends up chief suspect forced to go on the run whilst trying to work out who it is who is tormenting her and why.
As TV movies go "Torn Apart" has a good basis, the idea of an angry relative looking to get revenge on the doctor who was operating when their child died is not bad. And the way we watch as the Doctor tries to piece together who it is who is tormenting her is not bad either as is the way this person torments her. But the trouble is that it is only a good basis and whilst certain issues can be blamed on "Torn Apart" being a TV movie there are other issues, such as how things slip into place and the unbelievable way everything gets sorted which end up spoiling it. Basically despite a good basis "Torn Apart" is just an average TV movie delivering nothing more than you would expect from an afternoon thriller.
Now I am not going to say that "Torn Apart" is the most original of movies, but what writer and director Stuart Alexander has created is a good basis. The whole angry relative looking to make those who were involved in the death of his daughter suffer is a good idea for a thriller and the way he goes about it, playing games with Doctor Westin might be unbelievable but adds a slither of excitement to proceedings. In fact the way everything pieces together, from Vicki using a new computer system to work out who is threatening her and how they are going about it is all entertaining
But the thing about "Torn Apart" is that whilst it has the basis, the style and intelligence end up missing. For example we meet a young patient in hospital who wants to watch the old hospital building been blown up, it is so forced that you know that both this child and the hospital being blow up are going to be pivotal. And then we have the new computer system and its capabilities, again it is such a forced series of scenes which introduce this that again it is impossible not to know that this is going to play a huge part in Dr Westin finding out who is tormenting her.
Being forced is an issue but many thrillers end up forcing certain elements but then there are two other major issues with "Torn Apart". The first of which is the ease in which Dr. Westin manages to work out who it is who is tormenting her, one minute she has no idea the next she works it out. And having worked it out and with the clock running down she goes all action hero which I'm sorry is so out of character that it really does spoil things.
Actually there is one other annoyance and to start with we are trying to work out who her tormentor is, it is obvious but we are given the chance to try and work it out. But unfortunately far too early on we get told who this angry relative is and why, it spoils things and "Torn Apart" would have been so much better if it had kept us waiting till Dr. Westin found out.
What really doesn't help matters is that "Torn Apart" ends up being a one woman show, oh there are other characters such as Vicki Westin's husband played by Richard Burgi and of course there are detectives and also the bad guy but for the most everything is about Dr. Westin. As such this is a movie all about Tia Carrere but unfortunately with a character who is half doctor half action woman it is a poor character and Carrere is unable to make this character feel real. In fact you do wonder whether Carrere was partly cast because she is hot, and scenes which require her climbing over a fence in tight trousers and vest play on her hotness.
What this all boils down to is that "Torn Apart" ends up a very run of the mill TV movie and whilst technically a thriller is not that thrilling. And it is a shame as whilst it's not the most original ideas for a movie the whole angry relative of a patient looking for twisted revenge has some potential.
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