Bullet Points: Life on the Line
It has been a while since I actually felt excited about watching a new John Travolta movie. I will admit, I did enjoy Killing Season with De Niro but no one is going to argue that it had people in fits waiting for its release date. The same can be said about Life on the Line. Hell, I didn’t know it existed until a couple of weeks ago and I still wasn’t sure that the profession of “Lineman” needed a movie like this. No matter, LotL gives Travolta an opportunity to play the everyman that he used to be so good at and it allows him to try out another accent that he will be absolutely horrible at doing.
Synopsis: A crew of lineman, who work one of the most dangerous jobs in America, brace themselves for a massive storm about to hit the area.
- Synopsis Part 2: Yes, the above is a very simplistic version of what the movie is about but not really. Most of the film is spent getting to know the linemen and their wives, the drama surrounding their relationships, and how much John Travolta can drink before he’ll want to fight Devon Sawa. This could very easily fit in with similar melodramatic films on the Hallmark Channel.
- Danger: Being a lineman is apparently the 4th most dangerous job in the United States. I had no idea about that. Maybe this film will get them more donations to the foundations for fallen linemen, and I truly hope so. It’s sad that when I think of dangerous jobs I tend to think of specifically the ones that have already had reality shows surrounding them.
- Don’t act surprised: If you’re going to put Devon Sawa in your movie don’t be surprised when people start mysteriously dying in totally unbelievable ways. You have been warned. Also, this is what Devon Sawa looks like now.
- Benz: John Rambo star Julie Benz looks fantastic as a brunette in this movie. I didn’t even recognize her. I’m so used to seeing her as a blonde. I’ll totally have to re-work some of the Buffy and Jawbreaker fantasies from years ago now.
- Get the rice ready: I hope these guys have waterproof phones because they keep answering calls and it’s raining like crazy.
- Timing is everything: This movie feels like it should be taking place in 1987. They are treating Kate Bosworth going to college like she’s the first person going to Mars. It’s almost as if every character who mentions her going to college is doing the little “college girl” smartass deal.
- The Meat and Baked Potatoes: Two thirds of the movie is literally counting down to the big storm hitting the town. It builds up about ten different characters in the hopes that the viewers will care about them and then it goes batshit crazy in fitting in as much drama as possible in the final 20 minutes. On one hand, I was happy that something was finally happening, but on the other, I was just trying to guess how each of these characters would get their lives all messed up by the end.
- Do you have a minute to talk about Jesus: I think this movie would have been much better if it marketed itself more as a Christian movie. There wouldn’t have needed to be a lot of changes to it. Make Travolta’s character a very religious man. Maybe don’t have him drinking and hanging out at bars but the film could have probably done really well financially if it lingered a bit more on Beau’s spirituality.
If you still have battery life on your computer you should read these bonus Bullet Points…
- Devon Sawa has never seen or been on a camera before. The film opens with him being interviewed about something that happened at substation 12 and he acts like he was just awoken from a 200 year coma. Also, people rarely do interviews about good things happening so I immediately felt that something awful was going to happen to some of the linemen.
- They teased us with a big bar fight. Instead, we just got Travolta shaking the dudes hand and walking away. Lame. Later, though, Travolta punches a guy and then gets mad at him for hurting his hand, “you have any idea how long that’ll take to heal?”
- I would never hang out with Devon Sawa. I’ve seen too many people get killed by the random of objects to ever risk my life being around that guy. There’s no way he’s interesting enough to make it worth it.
- Travolta continues his run of having excellent/terrible wigs in his films. You gotta respect the man for that!