Runtime: 103 Mins
What To Expect: A huge waste of talent in a really badly written movie
This movie had a good trailer, I mean, it showed off Michael Jai White’s usual impressive array of martial arts skills and showed us that it would be a thriller set in the idealic Brazil. Don’t be fooled by the trailer though. This movie is very difficult to watch because it’s so damned boring. The fight scenes do not do enough to break the monotony. Maybe two words are enough. Ernie and Barbarash.
The movie features a suicidal ex-marine (guess who), tortured by the war demons running amok in his head, who suddenly finds reason to live upon hearing that his sister has been hospitalized by thugs while working as a community worker in Brazil. Of course, Michael Jai White heads on down to use martial arts to teach some pissants a lesson. Of course, being a Barbarash movie, it doesn’t turn out that way. Instead of playing to the movie’s strengths, y’know, letting MJW and Lateef Crowder do their thing and using the cast to their full potential, it stumbles barely a third of the way in.
Turns out there’s a conspiracy! And he word conspiracy never gels well with DTV, they usually translate to two other words: Horrible quagmire. I won’t spoil the movie, if that can be done, but the movie turns into an over ambitious, aching, confusion mess. A hack writer aims big and tries to combine Taken with Law And Order, with some martial arts. Michael Jai White deserves better than this and you can tell that he probably realises it, he’s certainly not putting the effort in here. Who could blame him?
There are some ‘not too bad’ fight scenes in here, if you manage to wade through the mangled plot and CGI muzzle flashes. Lateef Crowder stars in this movie, under-utilized, just so you know and just so we repeat the fact. He’s involved in the best part of the movie, which is the final fight scene. To its credit it is well lit and has lucid tracking and editing, if seemingly a little rushed. Still better than any fight scene Christopher Nolan or Paul Greengrass have ever filmed.
Michael Jai White’s charisma and agility bump this to a 5/10 as opposed to a 4/10, even if his acting is phoned in.