High Noon (2009)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Emilie de Ravin in Nora Roberts' High Noon (2009)

Not Quite Raving about Ravin

Do not be mistaken, the 2009 TV movie "High Noon" has next to nothing to do with the classic 1952 western of the same name, but is another adaptation of a Nora Roberts' novel. I said it has next to nothing to do with the classic western because it does refer to it, but is such a weak connection it borders on being pointless. And as such what "High Noon" from 2009 is, is a generic but entertaining thriller where a female hostage negotiator finds her life and those of her friends and family at risk from a man who wants revenge. Oh and with this being Nora Roberts' territory there is a romantic sub plot as well.

She may be a little unorthodox but hostage negotiator Lt. Phoebe McNamara (Emilie de Ravin - The Hills Have Eyes) is good at her job, so good that some male officers dislike her with a passion as she puts them to shame. But it is not just the officers she needs to worry about as she becomes the target of a man who wants revenge and is doing a good job of terrorizing her as well as her family and friends including her new lover Duncan Swift (Ivan Sergei - The Break-Up) who feels helpless trying to protect her.

Ivan Sergei in Nora Roberts' High Noon (2009)

So as mentioned "High Noon" is another TV movie adaptation of a Nora Roberts' story but to be honest whilst it is for the most a nicely put together story it's not the most original. The whole idea of hostage negotiator Lt. Phoebe McNamara being terrorized by a man who wants justice isn't that unique, just the previous year there was something similar done in "Untraceable" and before that it had already been done. But whilst not completely original it is a nice little story because it is a guessing game, who is the person who wants revenge and why. There are various suspects, the suspended cop Arnie Meeks who dislikes Phoebe, there is Duncan Swift the love interest who could be playing some sort of sick game and there are a couple of others. And thankfully "High Noon" doesn't reveal the identity of the tormentor till well into the second half.

But the sad thing is that whilst we don't know who the vengeful tormentor is when we do learn it is someone plucked out of thin air, someone we wouldn't have guessed. And in a moment of high convenience Phoebe's boss survives an attack on his life and so is able to tell her who this person is. We still get to find out why this person wants revenge on Phoebe but it is so easily done that it ends up annoying.

The good thing is that whilst you have Phoebe in the midst of a crazed stalker we do get some quite exciting scenes. There are the mutilated objects which get left on her doorstep, the hostage negotiation which goes wrong when having talked the hostage taker out someone shoots them; there is even a scene which features a collar bomb. Plus we have Arnie Meeks whose dislike of Phoebe leads to a physical attack in the police station. Considering that "High Noon" is a TV movie it features some reasonably exciting scenes even if they are less than realistic, which to be honest is a bit of an issue as in the real world there are many things which wouldn't happen. Plus of course with "High Noon" being a Nora Roberts' story there is also the romantic element, a cliche but quite charming little subplot which ties in nicely with the main storyline.

As for the connection between this "High Noon" and the classic western of the same name, well it is weak and I will explain. We learn that Phoebe's tormentor calls himself Cooper in homage to Gary Cooper, he whistles the music from the classic western and he plans the big showdown at, you guessed it, high noon. It almost borders on the corny and most certainly could have been more intelligently done but it is also nice to see a modern movie try and pay homage to a classic western.

Now what was a pleasant surprise was the acting as whilst realism is a big issue Emilie de Ravin is very likeable as Lt. Phoebe McNamara. Okay so her character it too weak to be believable as a hostage negotiator but Ravin gives Phoebe both an element of strength and vulnerability which draws us in. And to be honest whist Ivan Sergei is nice enough as love interest Duncan and Cybill Shepherd is under used as Phoebe's agoraphobic mother it is Ravin who carries the movie and keeps us watching.

What this all boils down to is that "High Noon" is an entertaining TV movie but one which is no different to many others and has various issues which drag it down. But despite many noticeable issues it delivers several nice moments of excitement and Emilie de Ravin does a nice job of drawing us in to her situation.


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