Calling itself an "auto-action thriller," redline fetishizes speedy sports cars but lurches like a clunker, barely making any sense. Natasha and Carlo, ostensibly the film's romantic pair, have little chemistry. Nearly every plot twist is a cliché, and the dialogue is equally uninspired. For instance, Jason and Carlo keep calling each other "bro" or "brother" ("Be safe, bro," "I won, bro"). We get it -- they're siblings, and the older, responsible one wants to "save" the younger, less-discerning one. The list of faults goes on. The characters are hastily drawn and inconsistent. For example, in the beginning, when Natasha one-ups Infamous at the track by proving her racing mettle, she seems like a force to be reckoned with; but for the rest of the movie, she's the stereotypical damsel in distress. Also, viewers never understand why Michael is so diabolical, except perhaps that the movie needs a villain. They also don't get to know Carlo very well; he's just there to jump in and play superhero when necessary.
Redline isn't a total lost cause: Moviegoers simply looking to spend 90 minutes drooling over cars won't be disappointed. The table at this visual automotive feast is laden with a Phantom Rolls Royce, Ferraris, a Lamborghini, and Mercedes SLRs. And director Andy Cheng actually shows some prowess with the driving scenes, which have a modicum of style and are, on occasion, even thrilling. Quick cuts and split-screens speed up the action. But what the audience ends up with is T&A -- and in this case, the "a" stands for "automobiles." Bottom line? There's room in life for mindless cinematic entertainment. But this one's simply mindless.