Battle in Seattle Reviews
But a drama is only as convincing as its characters. The people awkwardly forced together in Battle in Seattle are rhetorical mouthpieces tied to the sketchy plotlines of a so-so Hollywood ensemble movie.
The drama gets heavy-handed at times, but the film is a triumph, thanks to a crack cast including Connie Nielson, stunning as a TV reporter who joins her subjects in protest.
Effectively mixing original broadcast and amateur vid footage (especially during scenes of crowd panic and police brutality) with interwoven fictive strands, Townsend acquits himself well, if not outstandingly, as both writing and directing newbie.
Actor-turned writer-director Stuart Townsend makes great use of the documentary footage of the '99 Seattle WTO riots. And he gets across his talking points about this shadowy outfit, too. It's a shame his script and all his actor friends get in the way.
Approaching its subject with a neat idealism and packaging its political fervor in the most facile of forms, the film boasts a cast loaded with Hollywoods both new and old and wraps its message up with eye-rolling naivete.
While it makes no bones about where its sympathies lie, these fictional stories show a genuine fascination with the role politics plays on both sides of such confrontations and how things can spin out of control with no single person to blame.
It's easy to see why Townsend was attracted to this inherently dramatic situation, but the characters he's put on screen feel less like real people than like entities created to either make plot points or stand in for specific positions.