Monday, August 31, 2015

Deadly Ambitious Tracks

Amazon Prime, you do not disappoint. While your free streaming selection doesn't rock most people's worlds, you provide the likes of me with a seemingly endless barrage of straight-to-video '90s thrillers with titles so generic that they all have alternate titles that are .1% less generic. Today's pick of choice can be found under the "this says nothing" name Tracks of a Killer or, more exciting (though no more unique) DEADLY AMBITION. 

Quick Plot: Meet David Hawkner, the successful and benevolent CEO of a major corporation. Upon announcing his contract has been extended for another few years, his chief underling, Patrick, smiles until his teeth essentially tear through his upper lip, running off to his girlfriend Bella to whine about how his ambition--his DEADLY AMBITION--isn't being satisfied.

We soon learn that while he doesn't believe in laying off his staff, David sure is a big fan of mind games. While his contract was renewed to Patrick's ire, David isn't actually planning on staying on. He's nearing a retirement plan but wants one more chance to make sure Patrick is ready to take on the responsibilities David is hoping to vacate. Naturally, the best way to assess the skills of your predecessor is to drag him and his gal pal along to a secluded ski cabin and celebrate your own wedding anniversary.

Think about that for a moment: you're an incredibly wealthy man married to the incredibly beautiful Kelly LeBrock. Does your dream anniversary getaway include the addition of being cooped up playing Monopoly with a  power-hungry couple?

You think I'm kidding, but no: David makes his guests play Monopoly. Maybe he DOES deserve a serving of DEADLY AMBITION.

It doesn't take long for Patrick to rather understandably snap at his boss's insistence on proving how much better he is. After one ski race loss too many, Patrick decides to rig the next contest, a move that leads to the accidental death of his lady love. David heads out to get help, while an injured Claire slowly pieces together the truth.

What follows is a cabin fever thriller that involves a limping Claire trying to outwit the increasingly DEADLY AMBITIOUS Patrick, be that via insulin switcheroos or the tried-and-true "I was right there and then you turned around and now I am mysteriously gone" trick that seems to work way better on film than it could possibly in the real world. Still, how can I complain when we get an intense snowmobile explosion worthy of Trucks that proves itself to actually be worthy of mere third degree burns?

This is no classic, but for what it tries to do, Tracks of Killer succeeds. 

High Points
Considering how easy it is for these kinds of movies to fall into the "characters making stupid decisions" track(s of a killer), it's refreshing to see LeBrock's Claire prove herself to be rather resourceful in trying to fend off Patrick's bloodlust 

Low Points
Who knew 90 minutes could feel so long?

Lessons Learned
Always know just how much insulin will kill a man (or woman)

Floppy blond hair & a turtleneck do indeed a villain make

If your last name is Frost, it is only natural that you shall go on to direct a movie set on a snowy mountain

Look, Deadly Ambition isn't going to rock your world or teach you how to diversify your holdings, but it delivers on its pitch of being a cat-and-mouse hunt with mid-'90s style. For that, it's the kind of Amazon Prime streamer that a gal like me celebrates. 

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