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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Alpha Alert'
(Jennifer Morrison, Josh Stewart, Stephen Rider, et al / DVD / R / 2014 / Lionsgate Films)

Overview: Three soldiers get trapped in an elevator when terrorists set off a dirty bomb. But when one escapes, her world turns upside down as she realizes nothing is what it seems.

DVD Verdict: 'Alpha Alert' (or Event 15 or Trauma] ia, pure and simple, an Anti-American flick with nonsensical portrayal of soldiers; even considering they are supposed to be suffering from PTSD.

I was hoping Captain White (Jennifer Morrison) would die in this movie. She was a traitor and she should have died spitting in the eye of her captors. When she denounced our country I wanted to execute her myself. Being a mother is no excuse. Her kids would have been cared for. If that is how she felt, then she shouldn't have served.

She was the only character with no redeeming qualities. Diego (Stephen Rider) defended his superior officer and cared for his wounded friend. Although Oldsman (Josh Stewart) lost his head due to the drugs, he followed orders and was a good private. Blondie was simply weak and she disgraced herself again, betraying her country a second time in the conclusion of the film. Ugh. She should head to Russia with her commie kids and go marry Edward Snowden.

How did she become a captain? She demonstrated no leadership ability at all and she only cared about herself and her daughter. Oh yeah, and her meds. She was responsible for Diego's death. She should have seen how unstable Oldsman was - we certainly did - and subdued and disarmed him with Diego's help before things escalated.

Aside from all that, letting go of the fact that the movie had no hero, the plot was tired and clichd, the actions of the characters were unrealistic, the dialog was severely lacking and the film was so predictable I almost fell asleep.

At one point she asks Oldsman for a screwdriver...."or shut up," she says, and then in a subsequent scene, she pulls one out of her pocket. Maybe it was on the elevator roof, but it sure looked like she got it from her pocket or pack.

When she was on the elevator roof, why didn't she at least try to open the air vent that was right in front of her? It appeared to be large enough for a person....and she did have that handy screwdriver to open the grate.

What was with the huge pipe wrench? I think that really was found on the elevator roof, but I cant imagine what use it would have in elevator repair. Maybe there are some pipes involved up at the motor, but left lying around on the top of the elevator?

This entire experiment was supervised by only one doctor and one weak-willed lieutenant. No security, no armed guards, no other personnel at all. How did this lieutenant get picked for this assignment? You got me.

And of course, all office doors are left open and top-secret files regarding this controversial, experimental drug are left in plain view.

Oh, and how did they monitor each soldier's heart rates and vitals? They weren't wearing any sensors. If it was some advanced technology, sensing them through the elevator walls, then how did it so clearly distinguish each individual's readings when they were all moving around each other in close quarters and when Cap'n White was on the roof?

I loved it when the doctor unleashed "Event 15" releasing the elevator brakes. He struggles with the decision (while we wait in excruciating boredom) and then, when he finally enters the final "Yes" command, the elevator does not fall! No, we get to see a ten second countdown before the brakes release. I'm sure there was some valid reason for that in the elevator control system programming, but I can't seem to think of it right now.

The climax was even more ridiculous. We are supposed to believe she climbed up a greasy elevator cable to a height of maybe 50-100 ft and then grabbed the edge of what looked like a 2x4 glued to the inside of the shaft just before the elevator plummeted to the ground. She somehow managed to reach that 2x4 while dangling from the cable in the very center of the shaft. Then, holding on by her oily fingertips, she scales a flat wall, defying all known laws of physics, pulling herself 3-4 feet higher to the elevator door ledge.

With her hands on the flat ledge she gets her feet on the 2x4 and manages to hold the flat ledge with one hand and pull open the double elevator door with the other. Wow. No really. Wow. I say, "Approve that damn drug and get it to the front lines now!" It turns people into superheroes with strong fingers. I bet she didn't even break a nail!

And by the way, the 2x4 was on the elevator door side of the shaft and there had to be a space for it between the elevator and that wall or the elevator would not be able to move past it. This means that when exiting the elevator, there would be a gap the thickness of that 2x4 where you step out. How does that work? It was quite funny seeing the 2x4 thing just stuck there. It served no purpose at all other than to provide her with a hand-hold.

I can suspend disbelief on a lot of things if a movie is entertaining, has a decent story or good character development, but none of that is present here.

This is a film made by people with no respect for the brave men and women who put their lives on the line everyday, defending innocent women, children and freedom loving people around the world from those who oppose human rights and freedom.

I support a person's right to express his or her beliefs in a film, but at least put some effort into it. Who knows? You might convince some people. The goal here was to get the message across with out doing any work or providing a compelling story. Might as well have just made a speech bashing the USA. That's become quite fashionable these days, you know [JV]. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.