x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Shoot on Sight

Shoot on Sight promises to deliver a lot in its opening minutes fails to keep any of those promises.

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The climate of fear and suspicion that followed the 7/7 bombings in London is the backdrop for this emotionally charged drama. The story begins with a Metropolitan Police officer shooting dead a Middle Eastern man, suspected of being a terrorist, on a London Underground station platform. Painful similarities with the killing of the Brazilian national, Jean Charles de Menezes, at Stockwell underground station two weeks after the bombings are clear. Realising that the force might have made a terrible mistake, the Met's most senior officer (Cox) ropes in Police Commander Tariq Ali (Shah) to spearhead an investigation into the shooting. Despite his faith never having been an obstacle to his work, Ali soon encounters problems both on the job and at the mosque. Things get even more complicated when Ali's nephew arrives from Pakistan and his wife begins to suspect he may be involved in extremism. Sadly, the plot relies on a number of tenuous coincidences and the cast is riddled with cliched and predictable characters. With the exception of Shah and Cox, who both give fine performances, the rest of the ensemble is poor and Sadie Frost's cameo is so unnoticeable as to be unworthy of serious attention. Worse still, Shoot on Sight looks and sounds like a TV drama - and not one that was made at any point in this century, either. In its opening minutes, this film appears to promise investigation of everything from the Met's firearms policy in the wake the 2005 attacks, to the roots of extremism in the UK. Unfortunately, it manages to do neither.

* Oliver Good