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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


A Shock to the System
Directed by Jan Egleson
First Look Home Entertainment 1990 DVD/VHS Feature Film

This is a devilishly on-target black comedy about corporate politics, generational conflict, money fever, and what happens in the office when cutthroat competition becomes the norm. Michael Caine gives a spiffy performance as a middle-aged New York executive who is understandably upset when the big promotion he's been waiting for is given to a young, smug, wheeler-dealer (Robert Riegert). Caine decides to fight back, imagining himself as a modern-day sorcerer who eliminates all those who do not acknowledge his power. Andrew Klavan's sharp-edged screen adaptation of Simon Brett's novel makes A Shock to the System both involving and compelling. Director Jan Egleson also draws out top-drawer performances from the supporting cast, including Swoosie Kurtz as Caine's nagging wife, Elizabeth McGovern as his lover, and John McMartin as an executive cast aside in corporate realignment.


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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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