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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Over the Line

On the Line on IMDb

Plot Overview

middle age manForty year veteran midnight radio shock jock Elvis Cooney (Mel Gibson) gives a studied lesson regarding kitchen spills to his little girl Adria (Romy Pointet) before tucking her into bed for the night with her stuffed toy horse. He drives his souped-up Mustang to the studio where he calms down a crazy come in off the street, then he starts his shift with a new hire Dylan (William Moseley)—fresh from London—manning the control board. Cooney fields calls from troubled souls in L.A.. Boundaries get blurred. He's filling a low demand slot and takes abuse as well as giving it, some­what like the grease monkey Henry in an Edward Abbey novel:

My job was to wash the greasy parts in a bucket of gasoline on the floor and to hand them the tools they needed when they hollered for them.

“Hey Henry,” yells Roy, “let go of your pecker for a minute and hand me the cam stretcher.”

I poked around on the bench in the jumbled mess of socket wrenches, crescent wrenches, spark plugs, head gaskets, distributor caps, fan belts, piston rings, hoses, battery cables, copper wire … “Bullsh!t,” I said, “there's no such thing as a cam stretcher.” They laughed some— “Go to hell,” I said.

“That there Henry,” says Roy, “he's about as much help as tits on a motor.”

“Go to hell.” (120)

phone talkAn elaborate prank has Elvis and Dylan scouring the building in a quixotic quest, broadcast live, for some­thing that's not real, not useful, and not appreciated.


The wisdom of Solomon has it that, (Prov. 26:18-19) “As a mad man who casteth fire­brands, arrows, and death, so is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?” Fire­brands or explosives burn down the building, bullets or arrows strike the people in it, and death is the fitting end for the madman so engaged.

There was a radio play broadcast in New York, based on Orson Wells's “War of the Worlds,” in which it was said Martians were invading the Earth. It caused a panic when listeners thought it was for real. As a tribute a South American station aired their own version with local place names. The army mustered to repel the invaders, but when they got to where the radio said they were attacking, there weren't any there. The service­men did not appreciate the joke. The whole town surrounded the radio station and burned it to the ground. Among those who perished in the fire was the girl­friend of the station manager. Life is tough south of the border. They haven't the luxury to appreciate humor that tickles the funny bone of rich folk up North.

When I worked as chief engineer for a country radio station in a smaller market, I commuted by bike 15 miles. On hot summer days my little water bottle just wouldn't cut it, so I bought a refil­lable water bag from army surplus. To avoid punctures from protruding pointy objects in the station, I inserted the flexible plastic bag inside a paper sack. Once when I was leaving I tested my water supply by patting the side of the bag and watching the waves ripple across it. The manager seeing this advised me, “Earl, you can't carry water in a paper bag.” Some pranks at the station are multilayered.

Production Values

” (2022) was written and directed by Romuald Boulanger. It stars Mel Gibson, William Moseley and Alia Seror-O'Neill. Gibson handled his “mensch” DJ role with aplomb and was teamed with Moseley as new employee Dylan to make a winning combo. The rest of the cast muddled through as best they could.

MPAA rated it R for language through­out and some violent content. The movie's swearing would never have been allowed by the FCC over the air. The station equipment is fancier than what I had to work with. The plot is elaborate to the point of being unwieldy but they tied up the loose ends nicely, if hurriedly, at the end. The pacing is steady suspense: keeps you on the edge of your seat. Technically, this is a very well made film, although that can't make up for a plot that will be repulsive to many.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

“On the Line” captures the essence of radio culture though they hammed it up some. This basically isn't every­body's cup of tea, more a cup of joe for the night owls. See it at your own risk.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Decent action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Special effects not overdone. Video Occasion: To punish yourself. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: A generous four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture was cited from the King James Version, pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Abbey, Edward. The Fool's Progress. Copyright © 1988 by Edward Abbey. New York: Henry Holt and Company, Inc., 1988. Print.