Producers: Randall Emmett, George Furla, Ceasar Richbow, Shaun Sanghani and Chad A. Verdi Director: James Cullen Bressack   Screenplay: Collin Watts and Leon Langford   Cast: Kevin Dillon, Mel Gibson, Shannen Doherty, Michael Welch, Sam Asghari, Eddie Steeples, Lydia Hull, Anna Harr, Kate Katzman and Dylan Flashner   Distributor: Lionsgate

Grade: D

James Cullen Bressack, a prolific purveyor of schlock (like several of Bruce Willis’ lamentable late-career potboilers), offers some more with this silly, claustrophobic would-be thriller notable for starring a couple of actors with problematic backgrounds in the industry, if not much else.  The adjective in the title is certainly misplaced; despite frenzied effort to generate some sizzle, the movie is hardly explosive—it’s more of a damp squib.   

Orlando Friar (Kevin Dillon) is a menial IT worker, answering phone calls from users who are having difficulty with their computers and suggesting corrective measures.  He’ll sometime intervene directly, though, surreptitiously using his hacking ability to solve a problem.  He can do this because he was once an exceptional hacker, until some unscrupulous folks used him to rob a slew of investors of their life savings.  He turned state’s evidence against the malefactors, and has gone straight ever since.

But his long hours and unhappy disposition have put a strain on his home life: his daughter Zoey (Anna Harr) sulks when he misses her birthday party, and his wife Kim (Lydia Hull) presents him with divorce papers.  He’s having a bad day.

It gets worse when a disembodied voice over his office’s intercom informs him that there’s a bomb under his chair that will be set off if he tries to leave his desk.  He’s ordered to use his skills to drain funds from a bond company and transfer them to the villain’s account.  The threat’s real: while out running that morning, Orlando had seen the plume of smoke from a car bombing not far from his office building, and when his only co-worker Enzo (Michael Welch) tries to leave the office, the elevator blows up.  Still, Orlando’s not alone: Enzo’s girlfriend Ava (Kate Katzman), who’d come in to talk to her boyfriend, is stranded there with him.

The authorities are soon on the scene.  Police Chief Pam Connelly (Shannen Doherty, who does little but stand around, barking orders), leads the SWAT contingent, including the strutting, macho Sgt. Tobias (Sam Asghari).  They’re joined by Jackson (Eddie Steeples) and Reed (Mel Gibson), apparently the only two bomb squad guys on the force—a typical coupling of cocky newbie and grizzled old veteran.

It would be as tedious to recount the back-and-forth between Friar and his hooded nemesis, and between the cops and the bomb squad team, as it is to watch it all unfold.  Simply put, though Dillon, Gibson, and the supporting players (save for Doherty, who literally seems to be phoning things in), along with composer Timothy Stuart Jones, try to pump things up, they’re fighting a losing battle against the clichéd  script by Collin Watts and Leon Langford, Bressack’s pedestrian direction and  R.J. Cooper’s stumbling editing.  One of the characters is so obviously doomed from the first that a “Dead Meat” ID badge might as well be affixed to his shirt, and an italicized detail about another early on is so blatant that it will give away the identity of the perpetrator to any perceptive viewer.  And when the revelation eventually comes, it not only involves a thoroughly uninspired motive but leads to a rooftop confrontation so protracted that any residual tension seeps totally away.

Adding to the substandard technical work are Travis Zariwny’s dank production design and Bryan Koss’s understandably dark cinematography, which apparently tries to obscure the drabness of the poverty-row sets in shadow.

Rest assured that though Dillon might necessarily be glued to his seat for the duration, the movie will give you ample incentive to get up from yours and walk away.