‘Momentum’ is a nice bit of sci-fi fluff

Grayson McCouch and Teri Hatcher in 'Momentum'
Grayson McCouch and Teri Hatcher in ‘Momentum’

I sat down to watch the DVD of Momentum with a bit of strange coincidence. I was away for a few days about two weeks ago, and one of those days this movie was on the Sci-Fi channel. I only got about twenty minute into the movie before I had to go out, but I thought it was interesting.

Then, what do you know, the good folks at Buena Vista sent it over to me. As I understand, they are pumping out a series of films on the Miramax and Dimension shelves as they shift gears from the reign of the Weinsteins, and this was one of Dimension’s properties. Either way, it was kind of funny to find this in my mailbox a few days after my return.

Momentum focuses on a college professor, Zach, who carefully hides special telekinetic abilities. However, a convenient store robbery forces him to reveal his powers, which are captured on security cameras. Shortly afterwards, as he prepares to skip town, he is approached by a shadowy government agent named Addison (Louis Gossett, Jr.). Threatening to reveal his powers to the world, he blackmails Zach to help him with a potentially dangerous task: infiltrate a group of telekinetics who are robbing banks and armored cars.

Zach reluctantly agrees, but soon finds himself stuck in the middle of a blood feud, as he learns that the leader of these telekinetics was part of a government program in the 1970s led by Addison. Now Addison is out to wipe out everyone who has the power. With the help of an FBI agent (Teri Hatcher), Zach much walk the line between both sides in order to survive.

Now that I got the opportunity to watch the whole movie, I thought the concept was far greater than the movie itself. Not so much because Momentum was bad, but it suffered from the low budget, which didn’t allow it to really push the story to its fullest. The lead star, Grayson McCouch, doesn’t really have the chops the carry the movie that well, either. He isn’t a bad actor, but his expressions seemed pretty limited and after a while stopped being effective. I’m not sure Hatcher was really trying all that hard either, but while the movie touts her she really doesn’t play that big a role. In fact, her part serves very little purpose, and isn’t explored or explained nearly enough to make it interesting.

The best performance comes from Carmen Argenziano, who plays Hatcher’s partner, Frank. His one-liners are great, and he delivers them with smart precision. He usually plays the tough smart-ass, and does it well. And having just come off the heels of watching Michael Massee in Revelations, he does a similarly strong job here (although the role is nowhere near as vicious or interesting as Haden.

The DVD itself offers nothing. There isn’t a hint of a special feature, and on a low level production like this, I wouldn’t really expect any.

Momentum is only 92 minutes, so its no skin off your nose to give it a viewing. It manages to be entertaining, without slowing down into needless subplots or melodrama. Perhaps if it were given a bigger budget, it could have been something better.

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