Since Voltage Pictures started producing movies in 2008, they produced only two watchable movies. The first was their debut movie in The Hurt Locker and the second was a small movie released last year titled Good Kill. They are mostly a video on demand company, but to be fair they at least put an effort into trying to get ‘decent’ movies to go with their has-been actor roster, unlike other companies who will try to screw you with some 1990’s star on the cover but not in the movie.
Their latest movie is Standoff, and it could reasonably be called one of the better movies Voltage Pictures has made. Again we have a ‘somewhat original’ script with recognisable faces, Laurence Fishburne and Thomas Jane. Fishburne plays a contract killer who murders some targets at a quiet funeral and when a 12 year old girl takes his picture, he hunts her, to terminate the evidence. She enters Thomas Jane’s house, a ‘shell of a man’ guzzling on that liquor, because that’s probably about the best thing to do after your wife leaves you because you weren’t careful enough when your son was accidentally killed.
As things turn out, Fishburne shoots his way into the house, but not before Jane blasts him with buckshot. The ‘standoff’ then ensues with Fishburne on the ground floor with Jane protecting the child on the top floor with a shotgun.
As a premise, this is easy to screw up. But what makes this movie just about watchable is that things are kept simple and straightforward. Jane must ensure that Fishburne cannot ascend to the second floor, Fishburne on the other hand must become inventive and get to the girl without getting his head blown off in the stairwell. And at just over 80 minutes, the movie knows its limitations and does not overstay its welcome.
There are some plot holes here and there. For instance although he talks about it, Jane does not have the gumption to pass the girl through a top window and perhaps rush the intruder, he’s suicidal after all and is seeking redemption. And on the other lower end, Fishburne seems equally as dim at times, I mean many of the curtains are not drawn, so if Jane did attempt the former, Fishburne wouldn’t see it. But you have to keep in mind, with cheap productions curtains are often closed because they can’t show you what is actually outside (read: nothing).
The engine room of this movie is the performances of Fishburne and Jane, Ella Balentine too (the girl). Unlike money grabbing actors of a certain type who show up in VOD movies, Fishburne and Jane show up to work. They put the hours in and this is what elevates the movie slightly above mediocrity. Fishburne especially plays a thunderous baddie, really convincing. Bottom line, if you liked the movie ‘Armored’, or the movie ‘Panic Room’, this one might interest you.
See more about “Standoff” here; http://www.directvdeals.com/entertainment/standoff-directv-cinema/