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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Sticky Situation

Center of the Web on IMDb

Plot Overview

business womanKathryn Lockwood (Charlene Tilton) was a daddy's girl whose father running for Congress committed suicide—supposedly—under pressures from his campaign. She had a lot of connections through him helping her to succeed as the DA's “sharpest assistant district attorney,” though from her easy work­load we gather her good looks might have had more to do with it. She is a sharp dresser, to be sure, and could serve as a good sartorial model. And in this movie it's more than looks can kill.

photographerloversThere is no accounting for taste. She could have had her pick in men but has chosen a failed actor (“If I was that good of an actor, I wouldn't be teaching”) John Phillips (Ted Prior) for her boyfriend. Phillips waiting for his date out­side the theater gets snatched at gun­point, being mistaken for an out-of-town hired gun tasked with a political assass­ination. Further­more, U.S. Department of Justice agent Richard Morgan (Robert Davi) who has the pickup under surveillance black­mails him to continue playing along—he is an actor, after all—to help them unravel the conspiracy. He has a hard time explaining this role to his girl­friend who feels used (“Who are you?”) and risks being mistaken for a co-conspirator on account of what happened to her father.

Maybe he should try reciting a poem of Sir Thomas Wyatt's in which “a lover seems to be attempting to clear himself of certain accusations brought against him by his mistress” (91):

The knot which first my heart did strain, When that your servant I became, doth bind me still for to remain Always your own as now I am.

If in my love there be one spot Of false deceit or doubleness; Or if I mind to slip this knot By want of faith or steadfastness Let all my service be forgot, And when I would have chief redress, Esteem me not.


We share the couple's distress trying to work it out, and the writer has done us a favor by giving us unpre­dict­able back­ground actions to practice on. A wise man did the same in, (Prov. 30:18-19) “There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.”

“The way of an eagle in the air”—drifting then swooping suddenly on its prey—represents unpredictable aerial acrobatics. Kathryn meets a trusted contact in the park who's feeding the pigeons. “You always did love those pigeons,” she tells him. Replies her contact, “Curious breed. Easily fooled; easily manipulated; but some­how they manage to survive.” We're thus prepared to witness a certain amount of manipulation in her boy­friend/girl­friend relations.

“The way of a serpent upon a rock” corresponds to John's assigned rendezvous in a deserted steel mill. There's nothing at all in it when he gets there but a bare concrete floor, which causes him to question the cab driver, “You sure this is where I'm supposed to be?” The cabbie's sarcastic response goes, “Does it look like I got crystal balls, man? Right or wrong, this is the address you want.” Three motor­­cyclists show up to “test” the sap. We are being prepared for seeing a mysterious test of the couple's relationship.

“The way of a ship in the midst of the sea” corresponds here to a bottle of bubbly in a bucket of ice, in a sex scene in the drama class. A student actress played by Melissa Jackson administers one of the ice cubes to the bare chest of her laid back lover.

Melissa Jackson in Center of the Web

Her spooked partner breaks his focus declaring, “I lost it. I wasn't expecting that at all.” The teacher John admonishes him, “No, no. Don't be sorry. Be the character. Always be the character. When you're playing a role, you've got to expect the unexpected.” We're being shown to expect the unexpected in the main couple's relations, to which John will have to adapt on the fly—pardon the pun—in his web-entangled role.

Those were easy practice examples. John's “way of a man with a maid” is hard to second guess, maybe impossible. The insect caught in a spider's web might have no idea how to get out.

Production Values

” (1992) was written and directed by David A. Prior. It stars Robert Davi, Charlene Tilton and Ted Prior. Davi is a bright spot in this dark film. The acting over­all never rose above B–grade level.

BibleIt's rated R in America for violence and profanity. There's a porcelain dragon prop in John's room for his sex scene with Kathryn and in her room is a porcelain angel prop. She's the one to express regret for having made love to him whom she really hadn't known all that well, he didn't seem to mind. For that matter in the sniper's nest is displayed a Holy Bible, a big one with tabs to mark its chapters. The implication is if one reads the good book, she'll know not to have sex with her partner until she knows him well enough to get married and then go ahead with it.

school busThe shooting and fighting action is spread through­out the movie as a whole. There is more than one car chase in it, one of them involving a comman­deered school bus (sans passengers.) It had cool 90's music by Greg Turner. One creepy shot was taken through an actual spider's web. Runtime is 1½ hours.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This is a mistaken identity, nineties vintage, conspiracy, action thriller with a touch of a skewed romance thrown in. If any of that appeals to you, you'll probably like it, though it might not make the top of your list. It isn't—God help us—faith based, but harbors a nod to conservative Christian values.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture is taken from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Simons, William Edward. Sir Thomas Wyatt and his Poems. Boston, Mass.: D.C. Heath & Co., 1889. Print.