Add your review
Avg. Rating: 4
Great suspense. Michael Caine is excellent. The bad guys are very convincing in this picture.
Punchy stinging black comedy of the workplace
Here's where Michael Caine shines, as a corporate exec who gets passed over for the promotion he's so feverishly expecting he'll get in favor of a young Turk--well played by Peter Reigert--who lords it over Caine's character in subtle (and not so subtle) ways. Caine's wife, also well played by Swoosie Kurtz, one of the great unknown American stage and film actresses, is a serious [problem] to him. So he has two people in his life who are supremely annoying.
What does he do? Well, let's just say that his solution to these two problems ends in the population of the world changing, shall we?
The dialogue in this very smart blackly comic thriller is sharp as a razor; it's a lot of fun to watch Mr. Caine give us his best as a put upon exec who's more than capable of flying into a rage at the drop of a hat and of executing his very sneaky and well thought out plans for revenge. Also on hand is Elizabeth Perkins, an equally intelligent office colleague who attracts Caine in more ways than one, but does not suspect him of any wrongdoing at all. That is, until...
One of the best office comedies around, A Shock to the System is a stinging portrait of greed and selfishness in America--for my money, far better than the somewhat overblown Wall Street. This is a movie that gives you a great evening's entertainment and part of the reason for that may be to secretly exact vengeance upon those corporate bigwigs who've prevented you from getting a job for so long, given this miserable economy.
Great job. Highly recommended.
Play Naughty; Win Big
Michael Caine is marvelous when playing a happy villain. He was impossibly beautiful as a young man, but middle aged Michael with serious bags under his eyes and a slight weight problem has an air of wounded vanity, as if he can't quite understand how things went wrong.
Caine, as Graham Marshall, is a fairly successful marketing director with an expensive home, an expensive and slightly boring wife, and is desperately anticipating a promotion for his many years of diligence. He is stunned when he is passed over for a young, brash associate. Graham has an epiphany when a particularly smarmy panhandler enrages him, and Graham impulsively shoves him off the subway platform in the path of an oncoming train. No one has seen him and Graham muses on his "magical" powers. He quickly and cleverly dispatches the wife and the business rival, gets rid of his white elephant of a house in the suburbs, boards the pets and gets a tasteful apartment in Manhattan. Though homicide Lt. Laker (Will Patton with a splendid Long Island accent) is suspicious, nothing can be proved. Graham not only gets the promotion, he has his eye on taking over the company, dispatching his rivals on his upward climb.
What keeps the tension intact is the victims are not cartoon-like villains. The wife is irritating, but not evil. The youngster who beat him out for the promotion is vulgar, but it is clear he is clever and competent. We just cannot help but cheer Graham on his nefarious way. Michael Caine's glee and satisfaction are catching.
There is more than a whiff of Alec Guinness's "Kind Hearts and Coronets" in Caine's performance, but Michael Caine has a knack for villainy all his own. "Shock to the System" may be a trifle of a movie, but it is a highly enjoyable trifle. ....
Review this book