An off-the-peg crime thriller with a reversible lining, screenwriter Nakano's first film as an indie hyphenate relies for effect on a crude racial twist meant to 'jar viewers out of their polarised complacency'. Sadly, his portrait of a contemporary American society in which the polarities of race and power are merely turned around - rich black boss, put-upon white worker - is so obvious and reductive as to be pointless. Given this, it's hard to imagine how his facile 'What if?' scenario could have lured elder statesman Belafonte out of retirement and attracted the attention of Travolta. Sacked from his job over a simple misunderstanding, Louis Pinnock (loyal working stiff) seeks justice from Thomas (suave, complacent factory owner), but never gets past the security gates of his suburban mansion; later, when he and his family are evicted from their home, Pinnock abducts Thomas at gun-point, and goes on the run. Since it's clear where the film's headed, the fitful plot is forced to tread a fine line between fatalistic inevitability and tedious predictability.
White Man's Burden
Cast and crew