[Screen It]

 

"CATCH A FIRE"
(2006) (Derek Luke, Tim Robbins) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Heavy Extreme *Moderate Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Mild Minor Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Minor Heavy Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A white government investigator tries to figure out whether a black refinery worker is responsible for recent bombings there and elsewhere in South Africa, resulting in the peaceful man rethinking his stance on terrorism and becoming a member of the ANC.
PLOT:
It's 1980 in South Africa and Patrick Chamusso (DEREK LUKE) is a black man with a loving wife, Precious (BONNIE HENNA), healthy kids, and a good job working at the local refinery. He enjoys playing soccer with his friend Zuko September (MNCEDISI SHABANGU) and that man's nephew, Sixpence (SITHEMBISO KHUMALO), and will do anything not to rock the boat and thus endanger his comfortable lifestyle despite him and all other blacks living under apartheid. That's led many of his coworkers to join the ANC (African National Congress), an underground organization determined to undermine the government, including through terrorism.

That's drawn the attention of white family man Nic Vos (TIM ROBBINS), who works for the security branch of the government's anti-terrorism squad. After a recent bombing at the refinery, he has Patrick and Zuko arrested under suspicion of the crime, especially since Patrick doesn't have a good alibi for his whereabouts when the attack took place. It turns out that he was with his secret lover following an away soccer match, and can't tell the truth lest it get back to Precious.

Obviously suspicious of that and him, Nic and his men put the squeeze on Patrick, including interrogating his wife. When they eventually let him go, Patrick is so incensed that he decides to give up his life as he knows it, join the ANC, and get revenge on the government that's wronged him. From that point on, he trains to become a covert operative for the terrorist group, all as Nic tries to figure out where he's gone and then stop him before he carries out a destructive act.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older teens and those who are fans of anyone in the film or director Philip Noyce might be interested in it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For thematic material involving torture and abuse, violence and brief language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • DEREK LUKE plays a black worker and family man in 1980s South Africa who purposefully is apolitical so that he doesn't rock the boat. That is, until his sexual affair means he has no alibi to explain his whereabouts during a recent bombing, resulting in him being interrogated as a terrorist. Upset about how he and his wife are treated by Vos and his men, he emerges a different man, determined to bring down the government that could do such injustice to him and others.
  • TIM ROBBINS plays the white and cultured interrogator and investigator who's out to link Patrick to the terrorist acts, and will do anything to prove that point, including having him and his wife tortured to get a confession.
  • BONNIE HENNA plays Patrick's wife whose suspicions of him rekindling a past affair are confirmed during his arrest and her subsequent incarceration and beating.
  • MNCEDISI SHABANGU plays Patrick's best friend with whom he plays soccer and is similarly detained as a potential terrorist.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a quick look at the content found in this dramatic thriller that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while a handful of other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. A man's full rear nudity is partially seen in the dark when he's arrested and ordered to strip, while sex is implied within an extramarital affair.

    Violence consists of various people being shot to death (sometimes with bloody results), some torture (ditto), other beatings, and several bombings. Some of that and other material might be unsettling or suspenseful, while various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes.

    Tense family material stems from the above affair and people worrying about their spouses' safety, while various thematic elements are present, as are several instances of drinking and smoking.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's a great deal of handheld camerawork, some of quite bouncy, while other scenes contain spin around camera shots.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Miscellaneous men drink while watching kids play soccer.
  • We see wine on a small table in the park near Nic.
  • Nic has wine.
  • Miscellaneous people have what looks like wine.
  • Nic has a drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • There's possible blood on the floor beneath a man who's being tortured.
  • Patrick has some blood under his nose after being tortured.
  • We see Patrick with a little dried blood beneath his nose.
  • Precious has some blood on her face as well as a large scar after having been tortured by Nic's men.
  • A terrorist recruit says, "I will sh*t my pants" (about facing a perilous situation).
  • Various people who've been shot are bloody (we see the bodies lying in a compound).
  • We see a dead and bloody terrorist on the ground after having been shot (as well as a pool of blood behind him).
  • Patrick's pants leg is blood-soaked after he's been shot.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • A white worker refers to a black one as "boy" and we hear that the bathrooms are segregated by race under apartheid.
  • We see that Patrick has a lover and love-child on the side, and he goes to visit them after taking the local kids to a soccer match (lying to his wife about where he's been).
  • Nic has his men torture Patrick, Precious and others while trying to beat a confession out of them.
  • Patrick lies to Nic about having been to see a doctor the night he was having an affair with his lover (and when an explosion occurred).
  • Members of the ANC and others use terrorism in trying to overthrow the government and apartheid.
  • After his treatment at the hands of Nic and his men, Patrick becomes a terrorist operative, helping to set up a bombing at the plant where he worked.
  • Nic shows Precious photos of Patrick and another woman (a terrorist operative), to make her think this is someone he's been having an affair with (after he's been gone for a long time -- training as a terrorist -- although she doesn't know the latter).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" (including the torture scenes) and "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • Patrick and his family are stopped at a checkpoint by armed guards who make Patrick get out of the car and then pin him to the ground. While in that position, he sees two other miscellaneous people try to flee, but both are shot in the back (no blood, we just see them drop to the ground).
  • Nic and his men draw their guns and run up through a bunch of parked vehicles, trying to find Patrick, but they frighten everyone else there instead.
  • After we see Patrick arming himself with explosives, we see Nic and his men race up to his hideout with their guns drawn, but he's already gone.
  • We see Patrick running underground through a tunnel, trying to get to a plant to set bombs, while Nic and his men race toward the same destination. But Nic stops at the wrong place and then sees a massive explosion in the plant. After that, he and his men search the plant's interior, as Patrick tries to set another timed bomb and get out without being caught.
  • Suddenly coming upon a roadblock, Patrick's car goes off the road and flips, with guards shooting at and hitting him in the leg (he shoots back and hits one who drops -- seen from a distance). He then tries to flee from them and a chopper.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Machine guns/Explosives: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • Nic has his wife and kids doing target shooting, but his teenage daughter won't, prompting her mother to be mad at her, saying such skill could save their lives from the terrorists and communists they worry about.
  • There's a gun salute of sorts at a mass funeral.
  • During some ANC training, new members fire machine guns in target practice (we also see one person carrying a grenade launcher).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Sh*t, man," "I will sh*t in my pants," "He's a cheeky koffir" (or something like that), "Boy" (said by a white man to a black one), "Pissed off," "What the hell's the point in that?" "Piss their pants" and "Bastard." *It's possible the terrorist acts might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of suspenseful and dramatic music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • The Donna Summer song "Hot Stuff" has suggestive sounding lyrics (played at a wedding).
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 2 "s" words, 2 hells, 1 bugger and 1 use of "Christ."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We briefly see some tribal men in small shorts (shirtless).
  • Sex is implied between Patrick and his extramarital lover.
  • From a distance and in the dark, we partially see Patrick's bare butt (full rear nudity) when Nic orders him to strip (after capturing him and to make sure he's not armed in any way).
  • SMOKING
  • A few miscellaneous characters smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that a boy has recently been orphaned.
  • Nic has his wife and kids doing target shooting, but his teenage daughter won't, prompting her mother to be mad at her, saying such skill could save their lives from the terrorists and communists they worry about.
  • Patrick says his father left when the boy was 10 and he never saw him again.
  • Precious is suspicious about Patrick's whereabouts and activity.
  • Patrick and others are arrested, with him being pinned to a vehicle hood in front of his kids.
  • Patrick sees that his wife is also a captive who's been tortured (he earlier heard her screams from afar, not sure that it was her).
  • We see that Precious knew of Patrick's affair from the past and she's not happy that he's rekindled it.
  • There may be grieving family members at a mass funeral.
  • Nic sees police activity at his house, rushes up, sees a dead and bloody terrorist on the ground, and then runs to his family (who are safe, with his teen having shot the intruder dead -- not seen).
  • Nic shows Precious photos of Patrick and another woman (a terrorist operative), to make her think this is someone he's been having an affair with (after he's been gone for a long time -- training as a terrorist -- although she doesn't know the latter).
  • We hear the sound of Zuko being beaten, and see his nephew being forced to watch that beating (the boy looks horrified).
  • Patrick catches up with his wife and learns of what one child has been up to (after having been separated for a long time).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Apartheid and the ANC.
  • How the efforts to fight or thwart terrorism can create new terrorists out of those wrongly affected by such action.
  • Nic has his wife and kids doing target shooting, but his teenage daughter won't, prompting her mother to be mad at her, saying such skill could save their lives from the terrorists and communists they worry about.
  • Nic has his men torture Patrick, Precious and others while trying to beat a confession out of them.
  • The comment that the population ratio at the time of the movie's story was 25 million black to three million white people.
  • Affairs.
  • After his treatment at the hands of Nic and his men, Patrick becomes a terrorist operative, helping to set up a bombing at the plant where he worked.
  • We briefly see footage of Nelson Mandela.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We hear talk of three men being hanged in South Africa.
  • We see brief slow-mo footage of a white man repeatedly striking at and occasionally hitting a black man with some sort of stick. We then see footage of someone pointing a rifle at women while passing by, but no one is shot.
  • We see men planting a bomb on some train tracks and later hear and then see (from a distance) the resultant explosion (but our view shows no damage).
  • Patrick and his family are stopped at a checkpoint by armed guards who make Patrick get out of the car and then pin him to the ground. While in that position, he sees two other miscellaneous people try to flee, but both are shot in the back (no blood, we just see them drop to the ground).
  • The concussion of an explosion rocks the house and we see a fireball from a distance.
  • Patrick and others are arrested, with him being pinned to a vehicle hood in front of his kids.
  • From a distance, we see some of Nic's men dunking a man (either Patrick or his friend) in a body of water as a means of torture. We then see one of them being lifted off the floor by his arms bent back behind him (causing him to scream).
  • Patrick sees the body of a friend, Johnny, being carted away (Nic mentions the man having a weak heart, but it's implied he was killed).
  • Patrick sees that his wife is also a captive who's been tortured (he earlier heard her screams from afar, not sure that it was her).
  • Precious has some blood on her face as well as a large scar after having been tortured by Nic's men.
  • Explosions go off in the ANC compound, with soldiers storming the grounds and shooting many people, including one who tries to run away and is shot in the back. A big gun battle breaks out, during which one ANC member shoots one soldier dead, and the rest of the soldiers then retreat and flee, leaving many dead ANC members' bodies in the compound.
  • Nic sees police activity at his house, rushes up, sees a dead and bloody terrorist on the ground, and then runs to his family (who are safe, with his teen having shot the intruder dead -- not seen).
  • We hear the sound of Zuko being beaten, and see his nephew being forced to watch that beating (the boy looks horrified).
  • We see a massive explosion at the plant (from a bomb).
  • Suddenly coming upon a roadblock, Patrick's car goes off the road and flips, with guards shooting at and hitting him in the leg (he shoots back and hits one who drops -- seen from a distance). He then tries to flee from them and a chopper.
  • It's implied that a man and his nephew were murdered (we hear they were never seen again).



  • Reviewed August 30, 2006 / Posted October 27, 2006

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [Avengers: Infinity War] [Book Club] [Deadpool 2] [Show Dogs]

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2018 Screen It, Inc.