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Movie Review - Not Safe for Work (2014)

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This psychological thriller was released as a DVD and was never shown in theaters.  It was available also as an on-demand film on the internet.  A low-budget picture, it features actors who are not necessarily well known, at least to American audiences.  In spite of these anomalies, the movie was a piece of suspenseful entertainment which merits the attention of movie-goers.

The main actor, Max Minghella, is the English-born son of Director Anthony Minghella, who won an Academy Award for his film “The English Patient,” and had several other successful films, including “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “Cold Mountain.”  Max is a handsome young man, with the genes of Anthony and his Chinese wife.

                                       

Max Minghella

                                                             Max Minghella - Wikimedia 

Introduction

Tom Miller (Max Minghella), a paralegal at a huge, successful law firm, has been secretly dating a co-worker, Anna Newton (Eloise Mumford) for the past few months.  By the way, Eloise Mumford is known for her major role in “Fifty Shades of Grey.”  Tom’s principal job at the firm is to photocopy pages and pages of law briefs used by the attorneys in their law practice.  His ambition leads him, however, to study the cases and sometimes to offer unwanted opinions on the lawsuits.

The firm has a significant and lucrative case on the docket, in which a powerful company, Denning Pharmaceutical, is being sued for not revealing that one of their drugs was dangerous and had numerous side effects and even fatal consequences.  Tom’s firm has been hired by the opposing side, and is confident of the million dollars in remuneration they will receive.

Tom had an interest in a lesser case involving the Gambizzi family, members of the mafia, who held undue influence over its enemies.  In one of Tom’s frequent memos to his boss, Mr. Emmerich (Christian Clemenson), he listed the names of informants in the case, which act might have had dire consequences if the memo fell into the hands of the wrong people.

Tom is Fired

An electrical failure in the law offices on the 34th floor prompted Emmerich to send everybody home early that day, but he asked Tom to see him first.  Tom was told by Emmerich that this was his last day, because of the controversial memo, and should pack up his belongings and leave.

When he reached the lobby on the first floor, Tom noticed a man standing near a suitcase while a well-dressed man walked by, picked up the suitcase, and went to the elevator.  Tom took note that the elevator stopped at the 34th floor.  He pulled out his pass key to use the elevator, only to realize that Security at his firm had already voided his pass key.  The janitor allowed him to access the elevator, however.

From this point on, the viewer is stirred by the constant suspense that is engendered as Tom re-enters the office where the man with the suitcase is snooping around.  He witnesses the intruder’s encounter with Janine, a female lawyer, who asks to see the man’s badge.  She is shot immediately by the villain and relegated to a supply closet.

Tom is surprised that Roger (Tom Gallop), one of his close co-workers, is working late at his desk, and attempts to hide the Denning Pharmaceutical file as Tom approaches him.  In an odd sequence, Tom slips his cell phone into a cup on Roger’s desk, with the camera running.  We will learn in a few minutes that Roger’s intention was to be a whistleblower against the company in its Denning case.

Mayhem Reigns

Tom is unable to leave the building because the elevators have somehow been de-activated, so he must remain in the law offices for the time being.  He was able to prop one door open by dropping his coat to impede the closure.  Of course, there is an episode in the bathroom where Tom finds a janitor dead in a stall, and seeks refuge in another stall when he hears the intruder enter the room.  Naturally, he must pull his legs up so that he cannot be noticed in the stall next to the dead janitor.  The intruder calls someone on his phone, saying he has killed two people so far, and will take care of “the one we already talked about.”  Tom learns soon after that Roger has been strangled at his desk. 

                                                       

Cellphone

                                                                    Cellphone - Pixabay

Technology is Prominent

This film is a lot about modern technology.  Cell phones are an integral part of the plot as well as access cards.  Down the road, these episodes may become dated as technology progresses to the next level, making the use of specific electronics obsolete or outmoded.  It is important to note that, although murder is a central theme in this film, the viewer is not exposed to horrifying and gruesome scenes, forcing one to look away.

While Tom and the killer are playing a cat-and-mouse game, Tom’s phone on Roger’s desk goes off.  The killer picks it up, and sees a video of himself killing Roger.  Unfortunately, he is able to delete it.  He also finds a picture of Tom and his girlfriend Anna.  He starts calling Tom’s name throughout the office.  He also calls Anna’s listed number, leaving a message for Anna to meet Tom at the office.  The viewer also becomes aware that he called Emmerich.  It is not much of a spoiler to know that Emmerich is in on the action.  There are further events which will not be revealed, since they are truly spoilers.

Again, technology comes to the forefront.  Tom sneaks to the security station in the office and makes himself a new pass key.  He then resets all of the locks so that he alone can move at liberty through all the rooms.  He comes upon Emmerich in an office speaking to a woman who is revealed to be the wife of the mafia leader Gambizzi, who is scheduled to testify against her husband.  The killer rushes in behind Tom and shoots Mrs. Gambizzi, adding to his kill list.  He then warns Tom that Anna is on the way to meet him at the office.

                                                  

Eloise Mumford

                                                              Eloise Mumford - Wikimedia

No Spoiler Here

There are a few holes in the story which prompts me to want to view it again to clear up some foggy events.  Additional killings occur, but it is no surprise that Tom and Anna are able to leave the building.  The suspense is not over, however.  The viewer is left up in the air as to whether Tom and Anna are really safe after they have left the building.

This was an entertaining film, leaving me on the edge of my seat.  It would be worth your time to spend 74 minutes watching this engrossing tale.

Not Safe for Work
Amazon Price: $19.98 $5.39 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 15, 2015)
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