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FIRST SHOT

Review by Chastity Campbell

Stars: Mariel Hemingway, Doug Savant, Jenna Leigh Green, Gregory Harrison, Dean Wray
Director: Armand Mastroianni
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo
Video: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Studio: Columbia Tri Star
Features: See Review
Length: 92 Minutes
Release Date: April 8, 2003

Film ***

At this point in time, it is very hard for anyone in the entertainment industry to present a story with an original storyline.  Most modern movies are rehashed versions from the past with newer, hipper, actors and actresses.   While the premise behind First Shot has been explored hundreds of times, this movie manages to present itself with a little more style, and a lot more flair than we’ve become accustomed to.

In this made for TV movie, Mariel Hemingway reprises her role as Secret Service Agent Alex McGregor.  Hemingway appeared for the first time as Agent McGregor in the Television movie First Daughter.   She handed over her gun and badge to Darrell Hannah who portrayed Agent McGregor in the second installment of this series titled First Target. 

Returning to the series is also Grant Coleman, the rapid riding river guide who has appeared in all three installments of this series.  Grant and Alex are married now, and he is completely obsessed with making it to Mexico for their honeymoon.  Alex is ready to hit the trail, but before she can get the heck out of Dodge, someone comes along and shoots the President on her watch.  Now President Jonathan Hayes, played by the very versatile and underused Gregory Harrison (Trapper John M.D.), is down for the count, and the clock is ticking.  He doesn’t get a lot of face time in this movie, but he was shot in the chest and that does tend to cause a few problems. 

With some super sleuthing help from her husband and back up team, Alex is able to piece together the events that lead up to the shooting of the President.  It seems the freedom fighters, who were killed after kidnapping the Presidents daughter Jess in First Daughter, had a brother.  This half brother, played by actor Dean Wray, has decided to restart the Freedom Fighters Militia and get a little revenge in the process by taking out the Commander-In-Chief as well as his best Agent.

First Shot was put together very nicely.  The pacing is easy to follow, and even though the storyline is a bit predictable, the actors made me not mind as much.   

Mariel Hemingway and Gregory Harrison are two of the most underused talents in Hollywood.   Harrison with his boyish good looks and charm is the epitome of what the Hollywood leading man should be.  Hemingway is absolutely gorgeous and shows time after time, when given the opportunity, that she knows how to shine with the best of them.   The supporting actors were very well cast, and helped the secondary plotlines move along effortlessly. 

Director Armand Mastroianni is back for his third turn in the director’s chair.  While his directing style doesn’t seem to have evolved much from the first movie, it is his consistency that lends these movies their sturdy foundation.

First Shot may not be first in its class of entertainment but it is fun to watch.  Take a shot at this DVD and you will most definitely go home a winner!

Video ***

This DVD is presented for you to view in a 1.78:1 Widescreen format.  I am so used to DVDs, being set up in anamorphic widescreen format that I was thrown off a bit when I realized this one was not.  This however, does not detract from the viewing experience of this DVD.

While some dirt and grain was visible throughout this DVD, I still have to give it a thumbs up for quality overall.

Audio ***

The audio for this DVD was presented in a Dolby Digital Stereo mix.  The background and dialogue were balanced against one another very well.  There were a few dips and drop offs with the audio, however, the blend was satisfactory and maintains the status quo established by other DVD manufacturers.

Features *

First Shot was a bit wide of the target in the DVD features category.  

Interactive Menus lead you to movie trailers for Half Past Dead, I Spy, and National Security. 

Subtitles in English, Japanese, and French are available to enhance your viewing experience.  

Then it’s time to push play kids because, as Porky Pig would say, “Theee ah ah theee ah ah, that’s all folks!”

Summary:

First Shot is loaded with action, drama, and plot twists.   If excitement is what you crave, take up extreme snowboarding.  If entertainment is what you seek, then fly like a bullet in the wind to your local video retailer and pick up First Shot on DVD today!