"On the Line" (2023): Mel Gibson.


The film "On the Line" stars Mel Gibson as the lead actor, with support from actors Kevin Dillon and Michelle Yeoh. The film was directed by French filmmaker Frédéric Forestier, who also co-wrote the screenplay along with Jean-Christophe Establet.

The production of the film took place in Paris, despite the story being set in Los Angeles. It was adapted from Forestier's own short film "Talk" which was released in 2019. The film was produced by Manu Gargi and Eric Jehelmann for Eskwad, and it was distributed by Lionsgate.

The standard and the game of death.

A nightly radio show presenter finds himself struggling with a mysterious listener who claims to have taken his wife and daughter hostage. Articulating the tension of a closed session around telephone exchanges is a rather stimulating high-concept on paper, which is in line with Schumacher's Phone Game and the excellent Buried. The requirement for unity of place, action, and time in trapping the spectator of an anxiety-provoking intensity is re-established.

On the Line concentrates the adventures in the recording studios, offering a relatively original playground, even if it lacks a little aesthetic and conceptual singularity. The almost unique setting allows obvious savings in filming costs and establishes an atmosphere nourished by off-screen thanks to the hero's nocturnal radio confessional. Basically, we never really know who is at the end of the line.

The beginning of "On the Line" establishes its characters and situation effectively with engaging dialogue and concise shots. The film quickly moves into the studio where the tension builds as the story progresses, creating an effective rise in suspense that keeps the audience on edge.

However, despite the promising start, the tension in the film begins to falter as it progresses. The initial suggestion of danger gives way to a more explicit threat, and the ensuing game of hide-and-seek feels predictable and lacking in impact. The script attempts to maintain interest with moral dilemmas and various countdowns, but ultimately fails to sustain the tension that was established in the beginning.

Mel Gibson's performance as the gruff and tense radio show host is a highlight of the film, but it raises questions about the direction of his career given his recent appearances in VOD movies rather than big-screen productions. While the film's modest concept and clear execution could have given it a certain charm, it ultimately falls short due to its inherent limitations and lack of impact.

"On the Line" relies on its final twists to make an impression, but they feel derivative and do little to enhance the film's impact. The main twist, while unexpected, feels forced and gratuitous, and is reminiscent of another film in a way that is too close for comfort. The film's attempt to be playful ultimately comes across as mocking the audience rather than engaging with them.

The film's setting in a radio studio, while unique, is not enough to carry the weight of the story's twists and turns. The tension starts off strong but wanes as the plot becomes more predictable and formulaic. The use of a well-worn twist, copied from another film, feels forced and uninspired, leaving the audience feeling cheated rather than surprised.


"On the Line" is a relatively unknown and lesser-known film, so there are not many professional reviews of the movie available. However, based on the few reviews available, the movie seems to have received mixed opinions.

Some reviewers have praised the movie for its unique setting, suspenseful atmosphere, and solid performance by lead actor Mel Gibson. The film's use of a radio station as the central location was seen as a refreshing take on the thriller genre, and the tension was seen as effective in certain scenes.

On the other hand, some reviewers have criticized the movie for its lack of originality, predictability, and overall dullness. The film's reliance on well-worn tropes and twists, particularly in its final act, left some critics feeling unimpressed and underwhelmed. Additionally, the script was seen as lacking in creativity and depth, with the film ultimately feeling like a forgettable entry in the thriller genre.

Overall, "On the Line" seems to have received a lukewarm reception from both audiences and critics alike.

On the Line: A Mediocre Thriller with Missed Potential.

The performances, particularly that of Mel Gibson, are solid and engaging, but are not enough to elevate the film above its limitations. While the premise of a hostage situation and a ticking clock can be effective, On the Line fails to fully capitalize on these elements, leaving the viewer with a sense of missed potential.

Ultimately, On the Line feels like a missed opportunity. The unique setting and strong start promise a tense and engaging thriller, but the film ultimately falls short in its execution. While it may hold some appeal for fans of the genre or of Mel Gibson, it is unlikely to leave a lasting impression or stand out in a crowded field of similar films.

Furthermore, the film's attempt to grapple with moral dilemmas and create a sense of ambiguity around the characters falls flat. The antagonist's behavior is too predictable, and the moral choices facing the protagonist are not explored deeply enough to be truly engaging. The result is a film that feels half-baked and unsatisfying, with a resolution that fails to satisfy or offer much in the way of catharsis.

While On the Line does have some strengths, such as its solid performances and unique setting, these are not enough to feed v its weaknesses. The film's twists and turns, while initially intriguing, ultimately feel formulaic and uninspired. The moral dilemmas and ambiguity surrounding the characters are not explored deeply enough to be truly engaging, leaving the audience feeling detached from the story.

Overall, On the Line is a mediocre thriller that fails to fully capitalize on its strengths or offer a truly engaging experience. While it may have some appeal for fans of the genre or of Mel Gibson, it is unlikely to stand out in a crowded field of simila r films, or to leave a lasting impression on viewers.