There is a clear degree of polish that has gone into Ignition technically. It is photographed with a slick professional polish that belies the quick throwaway direct-to-video production that it seems at first glance (and has indeed been consigned to). There is a particularly cool prologue of a shoot-up at a gas station, which is shot in black-and-white but where some objects within the frame have been tinted red and where everything turns to normal colour again at the end of the scene as things go up in an explosion.
However, the film is scuttled by a thoroughly routine script. Situations are hackneyed and predictable and it feels like the film has been thrown together with no other purpose than to cram various action sequences in at expected intervals. It is never particularly made clear why the military need to assassinate The President, and even more so, why they are trying to assassinate Lena Olins judge in the first place. Moreover, for a judge to become so personally involved in investigating a case under her bench in a way that shows such lack of impartial bias is something that would almost surely have the case declared a mistrial.
Ignition features a couple of decent actors in Bill Pullman and Lena Olin, although they have only been pushed into B-action roles. In fact, they end up doing too much acting for what the parts require. Pullman in particular is cast in what would usually be considered .a Bruce Willis role a cocky hip lone gun with an attitude problem towards his superiors who is recovering from a bad past. He has traditional action movie hero scenes shooting up a recalcitrant washing machine and towing the judges car away when she defies his protection but Pullman is clearly miscast in the part he is an actor whose best effect comes in his polished charm, not in trying to act the raggedly macho he-man. In all, this is a B-grade film that has been cast and given technical polish far in excess of the material at hand a case of filmmakers having attempted to make a silk purse out a sows ear of a script.
Canadian director Yves Simoneau had previously directed much French-language tv and film in Quebec. He dallied in the US making tv mini-series such as the Western Dead Mans Walk (1996) and the superb Dean R. Koontz adaptation Intensity (1997). His one other genre outings have been the psycho-thriller Mothers Boys (1994), a tv movie version of the fairytale Beauty and the Beast (2012) and the UFO investigation tv movie Horizon (2013).