What Not To Watch: Worth the Price
When a movie is titled Worth the Price, one question immediately comes to mind after watching it.
Was Worth the Price worth the price?
I watched Worth the Price on Amazon Prime. Being an avid movie watcher and collector, my Amazon Prime membership had already more than paid for itself by the time I got around to watching Worth the Price. In essence, one could say I watched Worth the Price for free. In reality, I still feel ripped off.
- The Premise: After losing his mother, Jake Williams (Michael Copon) runs off and enlists in the United States Navy instead of facing his grief. Jake would rise up the ranks and become a Navy SEAL because no movie character who joins the Navy ends up being your average seaman.When Jake’s tour of duty is over, he returns home to his father Paul and his younger sister Brittany. His father has big plans for Jake and wants to pass his multi-million dollar business on to Jake. A move Jake is reluctant to make. When Jake’s father dies in a car accident, Jake’s life is turned upside down. He becomes CEO of what is now his company. Jake also becomes the target of a nasty human being who kidnaps Jake’s sister and holds her for a hefty ransom. Jake, being a badass Navy SEAL, then decides to take the law in his own hands and get the only family he has left back.
- Red Flag: Michael Copon did not just star in Worth the Price, he was also the director and one of the writers. The movie was also produced by Michael Copon Studios. There are three reasons one man would wear all the hats that Copon wore in Worth the Price. 1) The budget was extremely limited and Copon could not afford to hire others to direct or produce so he just did all the work himself. 2) Copon felt so strongly about this project that he didn’t want anyone else to muddy his grand vision. 3) After reading the script, no self-respecting director wanted to take part in what was an obvious bad movie waiting to happen. At first I was leaning towards option 1, but then as I watched the movie I knew it had to be option 3, especially after watching one of the worst scenes I have ever witnessed…
- Worst Scene Ever: As I mentioned earlier, Jake’s father Paul is killed in a car accident. What I did not mention is that Jake and his sister Brittany were in the car when it happened. Dear old dad was driving while both his kids were in the backseat like he was their mother effin’ chauffeur. This made for a real awkward conversation where the dad keeps looking in the rear view mirror to deliver this heart felt plea to Jake to come and learn the family business because he wasn’t going to live forever. The foreshadowing in this scene hits the audience like one car broadsiding another. Maybe if Paul Williams spent some of his millions and hired a driver he wouldn’t have died. Seriously, if Bulletproof Action started pulling in millions of dollars (and with a business model that relies on reviewing movies including crap ones like this, how could it not?!) I wouldn’t be driving myself anywhere. There are some scenes that can save a movie, this is a scene that killed the movie for me. It was as awful as it was awkward.
- Jumping to Conclusions: A portion of the movie that kills any “action hero” credibility that Jake Williams may have had occurs after Brittany is kidnapped. Jake jumps to the conclusion that Harry Freeman, long time family friend and the president of the company that Jake is now the CEO of, had something to do with Brittany’s kidnapping. So, instead of picking up the phone and calling Harry, he gets his Navy SEAL buddy Brett and they break into Harry’s home wearing ski masks and pointing their guns at Harry’s young daughter, then find Harry in his bed where he was sleeping peacefully with his wife. They threaten Harry’s wife, drug Harry and drag his fat ass out of bed before interrogating him like he is a war criminal. I’d like to remind you that these are supposed to be the good guys. Plus the evidence that caused Jake to jump to this conclusion in the first place was so flimsy. Accusing Harry Freeman of kidnapping Brittany was almost as ridiculous as accusing the guy who played Harry Freeman, Garry Manasco, of being a great actor.
Worth the Price attempted to utilize the Taken formula and failed miserably. Part of the reason for the failure was the overall serious/reality based tone of the film. That might have been the direction to go if you had a bunch of seasoned actors, but the multi-tasking Copon was the one with the most acting experience. Action fans may recognize Copon from his work in The Scorpion King 2 or as the Blue Time Force Ranger on the Power Rangers Time Force series.
Taken worked because it was an over the top adrenaline rush. Movies like 6 Bullets and Skin Trade that have borrowed the Taken formula have worked because they also went for the rush and featured characters that you wanted to see succeed. By the end of Worth the Price I honestly didn’t care if Jake was able to save Brittany and that alone is proof that Worth the Price was not worth watching.
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- Post Production: IMDb still lists Worth the Price in post-production status. So did I watch some sort of rough cut of the movie?!
- Heel Turn: There is a completely unnecessary twist towards the end of the movie that feels completely forced.
- Tailor Made Montage: One thing Worth the Price did do right was include a montage in the movie. In this case it is a Jake going to the tailor montage so he at least looks like a CEO, even if he was terribly unqualified for the position.
- News Coverage: And speaking of Jake’s new position, Jake stepping into the CEO role of his father’s company receives entirely too much news coverage. Just another aspect of this serious/reality based movie that completely takes the movie out of reality. Or maybe it was an extremely slow news day.