A Clear Shot (2020) Review

Rent it


A Clear Shot may not be packed with action but it’s a tense affair with Mario Van Peebles making it worth a watch.

Plot: Employees and customers at an electronics store are taken hostage by Vietnamese gunmen.

Review: Mario Van Peebles stars in this hostage tale that was inspired by the true events of 1991 (known as the Good Guys Hostage Situation) when a group of 4 men took over a leisure store in Sacramento which ended up leaving 6 hostages dead.

Judging by the various news articles I’ve read on the subject A Clear Shot seems like a well researched movie with a lot of what was reported taking place on screen.

If I was the real-life version of the Sheriff though I’m not sure how I would like my portrayal as he comes off as a total dick and so does his SWAT team.

Mario Van Peebles plays Gomez, the hostage negotiator who not only has to deal with the armed robbers but also the local Sheriff who as I mentioned above is an unhelpful asshole.

A Clear Shot is a tense affair and the fact that it’s inspired by true events only elevates the tension however, I couldn’t help but feel like it looked cheap; some of the acting wasn’t the greatest either but Mario Van Peebles will keep you engaged as his world weary negotiator is the most appealing character.

The four young men who take the hostages are given a little backstory so we end up almost caring about them but the simple fact of the matter is (as one of the characters says) no matter how poor or struggling you are you can’t go around taking hostages and killing people. You do get the feeling that they were desperate young men who were way out of their depth but the fact that they killed 6 hostages means that it’s hard to have any empathy for their plight.

This is really more of a drama thriller than an all-out action movie but as Mario Van Peebles is a bit of a legend of action then I figured I would just review this movie here.

Overall, A Clear Shot feels like it had a low budget but it manages to keep the tension up and by the end you’ll be emotionally wrung out wishing that things had gone other way. It’s the kind of movie you’ll watch once but it’s worth a rental at least.