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Fled Review

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Dodge, a computer hacker, and Piper, a tough convict, are chained together in the chain gang. When they make a break for it, the mismatched duo find themselves on the run from cops, Feds, Cuban mafia and others, aided by a mysterious woman - and all because of a floppy disc.

★★★★★

Punching in the mouth a guy who you're handcuffed to is never the best bet for a comfortable relationship, but it's a defining moment in this buddies-on-the-run action caper. Defining in so far as Fled is a film that seemingly exists only to lurch from one kind of dumb scenario to another, and while most of the scenarios (and some of the lurching) are entertaining enough, the whole barely hangs together.

The punch in question is thrown by Piper (Fishburne) at his chaingang compadre Dodge (Baldwin) seconds before they find themselves on the run from the cops, the Feds and the Cuban mafia. Dodge, you see, is a computer hacker who has stolen millions and a disc of computer files from a company owned by Cuban hood Mantajano (Michael Nader). Mantajano wants revenge, the Feds want the disc as evidence to convict him, and local cop Gibson (Patton) smells a rat and just wants to know what the hell is going on.

Gibson's instincts are good so it's a shame he didn't get to oversee the plot, but we'll ride with it as long as Hooks throws in something old (shoot-outs in sports arenas), new (Salma Hayek as a gorgeous distraction), borrowed (Dodge's continued references to other movies), and red (two Ducati 916 racing bikes that are, sadly, criminally under-used).

Fishburne, busting heads and type by flexing his muscles in the action-with-laughs genre, can be well pleased with himself, Baldwin is a scowling treat and Patton is enjoyable also - but elsewhere there are far too many shouting suits and stereotypical bad guys.

Big dumb fun, for sure, but not big and clever.