Friday, February 08, 2008


Year: 2007
Director: Franck Khalfoun
Cast: Wes Bentley, Rachel Nichols

The title P2 refers to the parking lot level where the film takes place. It's certainly a unique name for a film, and one that is straight to the point.

It's Christmas Eve, and businesswoman Angela Bridges is itching to get home to attend a Christmas dinner with her family. Work obligations keep her at the office till late at night, but she finally makes it out the door.

She gets to her car in parking level (you guessed it) P2, and won't start. This can't be happening, she says. She tries to get help, but there isn't anyone, save for the parking attendant called Tom. Tom tries to help get her car started, but fails. Then he asks her to join him for a dinner he planned in his office, but she declines and calls for a cab.

And then well, things go bad for poor Angela. She can't find a way out of the building. She gets trapped in the parking lot, the lights go out, and before you can say "hey don't leave me here!", she gets knocked out. She awakens to find herself a prisoner in Tom's office, and he forces her to spend the rest of the night as his guest. Fearful at first, Angela slowly gathers the courage to escape, but how can she do it when no one else is around to help, and her captor knows the parking lot better than she does?

P2 is written by director Franck Khalfoun, Alexander Aja and Gregory Levasseur, as they explore the idea of being trapped alone in an underground parking lot. It's a decent effort actually. I say decent, because it has plenty of room for improvement. For a thriller, it takes too long to unfold. You'll have to wait a good 30 minutes or so before the suspense really kicks in. The pace is also quite uneven, and there are a few unnecessarily long drawn out sequences.

Rachel Nichols, previously seen on TV show Alias, is good as the frightened yet feisty Angela. Wes Bentley on the other hand is only semi-believable as Tom. It probably has something to do with the filmmakers' decision to give him a lot of dialogue to digest. In my opinion, that wasn't wise, as it only made his character more pathetic than creepy. Pity, since Tom comes off as quite scary at first, but turns into a wuss towards the end. What a waste. The ending is also quite familiar especially for those of you who have seen the victims turn on their tormentors in other films. Jonathan Mostow's Breakdown comes to mind, and I preferred that film. Here, it's just too little too late, and all the suspense has evaporated by then.

It's a decent effort, like I said. But I wouldn't pay to see this again. (3/5)

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