Escape From Pretoria Quick View: Grade: B+
Escape from Pretoria tells a story about a racial rights activist Tim Jenkin (Daniel Radcliffe) and his colleague Stephen (Daniel Webber) both being sentence a good 8+ years in prison. It was all due to the their political stunt, which consist of surprise bombs that burst out many flyers of treating every race equal. So now Tim and Stephen take on their next challenge: Escaping Prison. Based on a true story, witness a creative genius go at working on escaping a heavy secured prison cell.
The Cinematography was fine, all shot in a couple locations mainly the prison, but majority of the shots were just fine nothing more. The Score was solid as a whole, actually enjoyed the music. The cast all in all t'was good. Daniel Radcliffe playing Tim played a solid performance, I thought he stumbled in his last scene, but still was a good performance. The character Tim was likable guy, doing whatever it takes to get him and colleague out of prison. Daniel Webber playing Stephen was good, however this film really didn't utilize this character properly. Besides being Tim's colleague, we really know nothing about this character, which was kind of disappointing seeing his significance of this story disappeared all of a sudden. Ian Hart playing Denis played a good performance, really shined in all his scenes. I really enjoyed Mark Leonard Winter playing his role as Leonard, really was an entertaining yet emotional performance, you surely wanted to see this character escape from prison.
I do have a few flaws for this film. I didn't believe in that canister cup scene at all, there is no possible way that snuck by the guard, as I could've clearly see a rag in the cup. Some logic issues here and there about some of the escape sequences. Now you're probably thinking: What the hell is Escape from Pretoria?! By the looks of the poster, I thought the same exact thing, this looks like a film found buried deep in the $4 Walmart DVD bin. I gave this film a chance due to the fact it receive some nice feedback. This film may not be no Shawshank Redemption... But Escape from Pretoria is a pretty entertaining film surprisingly. The story itself kept it very simple and it does it's moral purpose. The film fascination comes with our lead character Tim, trying to figure out all scenario's in finding a way to escape the prison. How does Tim find a way to unlock the gates, without keys?! Simple: He makes keys out of wood. I mean... That's pretty darn interesting, I enjoyed his pure concentration into detail in making an exact replica of the guards keys, using only wood and some screws... It's so cool. The performances by the acting make the film much more entertaining, despite it's simplicity of a plot. I also felt there is some well executed intense moments in the film, where you find yourself on the edge of your seat. For some of the past DVD rentals I've had recently.. This is honestly one of the best rentals I've had throughout this entire quarantine so far.
Overall, Escape from Pretoria is a pretty good film. I recommend checking this one out, it's at your local RedBox now, a nice entertaining film during the quarantine days that's for sure. -Mitch Smietana