HOT SEAT (2022) Reviews of Mel Gibson, Kevin Dillon cyber-thriller with trailer

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‘No time to think. Nowhere to run. One chance to live’
Hot Seat is a 2022 American cyber-thriller film about an IT expert ordered to steal funds online or get blown up by a bomb under his chair.

Directed by James Cullen Bressack (Fortress; Captors; Survive the GameBeyond the LawBlood CraftBethanyPerniciousBlood Lake) from a screenplay written by Leon Langford and Collin Watts.

The movie stars Mel Gibson, Kevin Dillon, Sam Asghari, Shannen Doherty, Michael Welch and Eddie Steeples.

IT expert Friar (Kevin Dillon) finds a hair-trigger bomb strapped to his desk chair. An unseen hacker orders him to steal digital funds online; or else his daughter will be abducted.


As a fearless bomb expert (Mel Gibson) arrives on the scene, the hacker frames Friar as the bomber. The tension mounts as Friar races to clear his name and expose the real terrorist — without getting himself blown to smithereens.

“As poorly executed as it is, the film’s saving grace may be its plot. The plot has a mystery built into it and will draw in viewers by default. It is only natural to know what has happened and who is behind it all. The answers may not be satisfying, but it is the only reason to watch Hot Seat.” AIPT

“Shock is not present in the payoff of the film, and Hot Seat is no nail-biter. The bright spot here is Dillon, who maintains a sense of urgency to his moments, trying to take the ridiculousness as seriously as possible, putting in some much-needed effort when the rest of the production is just coasting on formula.” 2 out of 5,

Hot Seat is a taught cyber-thriller, never wavering much from the central plot of a hacker and his manipulator going through the various tasks that he is supposed to perform. Slight of hand and a misdirection play a big part in this film, but to be honest, I had a suspicion what was going on, yet it was well disguised.” Dan’s Movie Report

“In terms of characters, they exist for the plot. In terms of action, we have director James Cullen Bressack taking us on clichéd trips through visualizations of the cables and coding of the internet, as well as offering one instance of characters dueling in the ability to type fast. In terms of imagination, the hero’s special keyboard lights up in multiple colors.” 1 out of 4, Mark Reviews Movies

“The situation has suspense built into it, but there is none. The premise is predicated on urgency. We never feel it. And the viewer never gets further into the thought that “This might not be all…” than that, before the next eye-rolling, dumb or absurdly illogical thing pops on screen to break the “might be almost competent” spell.” 1 out of 4, Movie Nation

“Everything from direction, editing, performances, action sequences and even the visual effects are all sub-par with no one standing out. Mel Gibson who’s been in far better thrillers like Ransom and Lethal Weapon, among others, but here he just seems to be phoning it in. The filmmakers don’t even get to bomb explosions right when it comes to visual effects…” The NYC Movie Guru

Hot Seat is predictable and talky but Bressack has done enough of these kinds of films to know what needs to be done. And the last half-hour does work up some tension as all the plot threads come together with a couple of twists […] Unfortunately they couldn’t find a way not to make the villain’s identity so obvious you’ll guess it very early on.” 3 out of 5, Voices from the Balcony

In the US, Lionsgate will release Hot Seat theatrically in select locations and On-Demand (VOD) on July 1, 2022.

Cast and characters:
Mel Gibson … Wallace Reed
Kevin Dillon … Orlando Friar
Sam Asghari … Sergeant Tobias
Shannen Doherty … Chief Pam Connelly
Michael Welch … Enzo
Eddie Steeples … Jackson
Lydia Hull … Kim
Kate Katzman … Ava
Keith Jardine … Security Tech
Anna Harr … Zoey
Jonathan Stoddard … Newscaster
Drew Taylor … Delivery Man
Xzavier Estrada … SWAT Officer
Dylan Flashner … Lance
Ben Steele … Cop
Shannon Ellis … Edmund Harris
Kyle Pierson … Looky Loo
James Cullen Bressack … Man in Park


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