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Redline is a 2007 action film starring an ensemble cast. The film's plot is centered on a street racing circle funded by a group of rich men in order to test their high-powered supercars. It is based on a story by Daniel Sadek, who also allowed his own automobile collection to be used in the film. The film title was borrowed from the original working title of the 2001 movie, The Fast and the Furious. A box office bomb, the film is most notable for being funded by subprime loans issued by Sadek's company, Quick Loan Funding, which closed its doors in the wake of the subprime meltdown. It was featured on a CNBCmarker special, House of Cards, as an example of the excess of the pre-meltdown mortgage market in the United States.

Redline was released in North America on April 13, 2007, and has been given a PG-13 rating by the MPAA.

Synopsis

The film begins with a $1 million bet between mob boss Michael (Angus Macfadyen) and film producer Jerry Brecken (Tim Matheson) over driving from Los Angeles, CAmarker, to Las Vegas, NVmarker, in under an hour and 45 minutes. Michael hands the keys to his Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren over to his driver Jason (Jesse Johnson). Using night-vision goggles and keeping the lights off to minimize police detection at over 200 mph, Jason manages to arrive at Brecken's hotel room seconds before the time limit - only to deliver a pack of "Hiagra" (a parody of Viagra).

The next day, music producer Infamous (Eddie Griffin) and his entourage arrive at a garage to pick up his Ford GT. There, he meets the beautiful Natasha Martin (Nadia Bjorlin), who happens to own the garage. She is also a professional race car driver and lead singer for an aspiring band. However, she is sometimes haunted by memories of her father's death at a NASCAR race many years ago ( Her Fathers car shown rolling is the car main character Cole Trickle used in Days Of Thunder ). In appreciation of her services on his Ford GT, Infamous invites Natasha and her band aboard his private jet en route to Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, on another side of town, Carlo (Nathan Phillips) has just returned from a tour of duty in Iraq. He meets up with his brother Jason while fighting a group of Asian gang members attempting to steal Jason's Ferrari F430 Spider. Carlo is not happy that Jason is living with their uncle Michael, whom Carlo always sees as nothing but trouble. Little do they know that Michael has been running an unsuccessful counterfeiting ring and owes another crime organization millions of dollars.

Carlo and Natasha first meet at a party in Las Vegas, where he saves her from a group of drunk partygoers harassing her. In the midst of the ensuing fight, Carlo and Jason bail out of the party and speed off in a Lamborghini MurciƩlago Roadster, while the thugs chase after them in a Ferrari 612 Scaglietti. The two brothers manage to lose the thugs by speeding through the underside of a truck trailer, while the thugs fail to clear the trailer and crash on several parked cars.

On the outskirts of Las Vegas, a high-stakes race event is being held, with Michael, Brecken, Infamous and Chinese businessman Marcus Cheng (Michael Hagiwara) placing their bets over who has the better car. When Infamous' driver fakes an ankle injury, Infamous gives Natasha an offer to drive his car. Natasha is reluctant at first, but agrees to drive for Infamous in exchange for $300,000 and a recording contract. Little does she know that Infamous has to place her on his wager, as Michael - who has been obsessed with her since watching her perform on stage earlier - has placed four platinum bars at stake.

Natasha (driving an SLR) takes on Jason (driving a Lamborghini Diablo). As they approach the finish line, Natasha is several car lengths ahead of Jason, but Jason quickly zips past her by engaging the onboard nitrous system. Unfortunately, because of the excessive speed, the Diablo loses downforce, flies off the ground and flips in mid-air before crashing upside down at the finish line. Attempting to avoid the falling Diablo, Natasha crashes on a barrier and is knocked unconscious. Before Carlo can reach Jason to rescue him, the Diablo bursts into flames, killing Jason instantly. Michael's henchmen, dressed as paramedics, place Natasha in an ambulance and speed off.

Natasha wakes up in Michael's mansion, realizing that she is now his property. Meanwhile, Carlo meets up with some old military friends and picks up some ammunition and gear before riding a Ducati 999 towards Michael's mansion. After Carlo successfully rescues Natasha, Michael has his henchmen kidnap her mother and convince her to drive for him at the next race.

In the final race, Michael, Brecken, Infamous and Cheng place their bets for a combined purse of $100 million. Shortly after the race begins, Natasha receives a phone call from Carlo notifying her that he has rescued her mother. Infamous and Cheng are eliminated from the race after their cars (an SLR and a Porsche Carrera GT, respectively) are involved in separate crashes. Natasha and Brechen are still on the race. As both cars reach the finish line, Natasha (driving Michael's Enzo Ferrari) is several car lengths ahead of Brecken's Saleen S7. The good news that Carlo told her on the phone earlier prompts her to slam the brakes hard, stopping the Enzo inches away from the finish line and giving the S7 the win.

With no money left, Michael is given a last ride from the crime organization he owes money to. As a way of thanking Natasha for handing his driver the victory, Brecken gives her a recording contract (which shortly lands her on the cover of Variety), an Enzo and a Koenigsegg CCX. The film ends with Natasha (in the Koenigsegg) and Carlo (in the Enzo) racing each other before being chased by the police on the freeway.

Cast



Release and fallout

On March 2007, Eddie Griffin participated in a charity race at Irwindale Speedwaymarker to promote the film, using an Enzo owned by Sadek. During a practice run, Griffin lost control of the Enzo and crashed into a concrete barrier. He walked away unharmed, but the $1.5 million supercar was badly damaged. Griffin went on to lash at reporters who claimed the crash was a publicity stunt.

Redline was a failure at the box office and with critics. The film opened at #11 at the U.S. box office, grossing $3.9 million in 1,607 theaters in its opening weekend. The budget of the film was $26 million and after six weeks in theaters, the film grossed $6.8 million in North America.

The film was not screened for critics before it opened, and those who reviewed it after it premiered were almost universally unfavorable. On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 0% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 23 reviews. On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 24 out of 100, based on 12 reviews.

Funding for the film came from Sadek's company. In the CNBCmarker special House of Cards, the crashing of two $500,000 cars for a single scene is cited as a direct example of the excess of the pre-crash subprime loan market in the mid-2000s. Sadek's company had long crumbled by the film's release, and the expected profits from the film were heavily borrowed against. The film's failure further worsened the situation.

Footnotes

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