Liberty Stands Still (2002)

Action, Drama, Thriller
Linda Fiorentino, Wesley Snipes, Oliver Platt, Roger R. Cross
Liberty Wallace (Linda Fiorentino), who lives in Los Angeles, isn't at all uncomfortable about her links to the weapons business. Liberty is a key player for one of the largest gun manufacturers in the United States, McCloud Industries: she's the Vice President of Marketing, she's the daughter of the company's founder, and she's married to the company's ruthless CEO, America's premier arms merchant, Victor Wallace (Oliver Platt).While former war hero Victor is busy trafficking in international armaments, Liberty takes business breaks to conduct an affair with actor Russell Williams (Martin Cummins). The balance of their marriage of convenience shifts when a sniper named Joe (Wesley Snipes) trains his rifle on Liberty as she walks through a busy Los Angeles park on her way to meet with Russell.Joe calls Liberty on her cell phone, and he orders Liberty to handcuff herself to a nearby hot dog vendor's cart -- the cuffs are already there. Liberty has no intention of acquiescing to Joe's wishes -- until Joe begins shooting.Quickly convinced, she locks herself to the stand, only to learn that it is loaded with enough explosives to take out a city block. If she calls for help, hangs up the phone, mutes the phone, or fails to cooperate, the bomb will go off. Joe has also attached a bomb to Russell, who's now in his dressing room at the theater.Liberty realizes she can't buy her way out of the situation, and she is forced to consider Joe's demand for an anti-gun forum. The reason for Joe's siege is that his daughter was fatally shot at school by a classmate who used a gun that was manufactured by McCloud Industries. The death of a child can break a parent's mental balance.Now, Joe is demonstrating to Liberty what it's like to be on the other end of the weapon, and show Liberty the horrors of what she has had a blind hand in for years.Victor has apparently bartered illegal deals without Liberty's knowledge, ones that have resulted in easier access to weapons for street dealers -- the ones who sold the weapon that killed Joe's daughter.As a result of his daughter's death, Joe wants Liberty to use her political connections and this incident to spark a public debate on the Second Amendment. Despite his past as a CIA agent, Joe no longer supports the unequivocal right to bear arms.Joe lets Liberty know that she's going to die, but that she can die a hero if she exposes the company's shady business dealings and political connections before she's killed. As Joe monitors and records her every move, Liberty reveals secrets about her own past, and her business dealings.When Victor, who's also having an affair, finds out that Liberty has been taken hostage, he's torn between following company protocol -- protecting himself and allowing Liberty to be killed -- and going to help her.Victor and the media show up. At first, it seems that Joe, who is actually a former CIA agent named Alex, is using Liberty as bait to attract media attention, but then Joe guns down news reporter Bill Tollman (Jonathan Scarfe), who happens to be the son of a hawkish US senator. Joe expresses his belief that it'll cause the Senator to change his pro-gun stance.Joe calls Victor on his cell phone as Victor is finally acting on his choice to get out of town. While Joe is shaming Victor for leaving Liberty to die, Victor suddenly recognizes the voice on the phone as someone he knows personally.Following the phone conversation, Victor orders his car to bring him to where Liberty is. When Victor finally arrives on the scene, Joe calls him on his cell phone again, and Victor addresses Joe by the name Alex.They discuss the time they met in Colombia, and how Alex had saved Victor's life there. Victor also apologizes for having won a military medal under false pretenses for whatever transpired while they were in Colombia. Joe fatally shoots Victor, in front of Liberty.Alex tells Liberty that it's all up to her now, before informing her that a key to her shackles is hidden in a box, underneath the hot dog cart. Liberty retrieves the key, and releases herself, and then she runs to Russell's dressing room. Together, they helplessly watch the timer on his bomb count down to zero. When the bomb does not explode, they realize that it was a fake.A SWAT team has figured out which building Joe is hiding in. Before they can get to Joe, he fatally shoots himself under the chin, unable to live without his daughter, but he has already forwarded Liberty's recorded confessions to several newspapers, and Liberty decides to make Victor's corrupt activities public.
  • 2002-01-18 Released:
  • N/A DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • N/A Writer:
  • Kari Skogland Director:
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