Apparently intended to combine the allure of sex and money, HOSTILE TAKEOVER's awkward nudity and murky storytelling barely manage to capture the excitement of a quarterly fiscal report.
Steve (Scott Hillenbrand) is an executive at NXI whose boss, Foster (Don Bauer), is stealing his ideas. Steve's lover is coworker Meg (Lizzie Murray), whose boss, Ian (Robert Catrini), sexually harasses her. Steve and Meg are pals with coworkers Janie Arnett (Carol Catalina Larranaga), the office
slut, and her boyfriend Jacob Davidson (Ira McAliley), the computer technician. Jacob learns that several "accidents," which killed NXI executives, were actually staged so that the corporation could collect hefty insurance payments in order to finance its new "Perfect Card," a substitute for cash.
Jacob and his aggrieved friends hatch a plan to take over NXI.
Meg creates a dummy company, JMB, and persuades Ian to hire them to market the Perfect Card. Steve plants a bug which records executives Foster and Cohen (Douglas E. Wells Jr.) discussing the most recent murder. Having seduced her boss, Martin (Richard Gunton), Janie tricks Martin into approving a
$10 million payment to JMB. After Steve withdraws the money, Janie reports to NXI CEO William Pearl (Julian Silver) that Martin authorized a $10 million payment to a company that doesn't exist.
Meg and Janie are kidnapped by Ian, Martin, and Foster, who threaten to kill them unless Steve brings them the $10 million. Steve and Jacob sneak into the office and cut the power while Martin molests Janie. They rescue the women while their captors escape. When NXI stock plummets Steve and the
others use the $10 million to buy it out. The NXI thugs are convicted of murder and insurance fraud. Steve, Jacob, Meg, and Janie are also convicted of fraud and insider trading, but their sentences are reduced for exposing NXI.
HOSTILE TAKEOVER may have been a success as a make-work project for the Hillenbrand clan (co-directors David and Scott also served as scripters, producers, composers, production designers, and costumers along with relative Jodi), but it utterly fails as a thriller. The "Mission: Impossible"-style
operation stumbles about in incoherent chunks. And there's a gaping hole: Why do the players stick around after they've got the money? Apparently so the women can be captured as an excuse for some gunplay to spice up a static script.
The acting is amateurish but adequate. As Steve, co-director Hillenbrand overemotes, apparently attempting to compensate for underplaying by the rest of the cast. Larranaga's breasts are exposed regularly--probably a desperate bid to keep the audience awake. The film's low-budget pedigree shows in
its dim lighting and stagy chases through empty halls, as well as attempts to pass off Miami locations as New York. Neither taut nor thrilling, HOSTILE TAKEOVER could have been friendlier to its audience. (Nudity, sexual situations, violence.)
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- Released: 1997
- Rating: R
- Review: Apparently intended to combine the allure of sex and money, HOSTILE TAKEOVER's awkward nudity and murky storytelling barely manage to capture the excitement of a quarterly fiscal report. Steve (Scott Hillenbrand) is an executive at NXI whose boss, Foster… (more)