I wonder if John Travolta watched the movie ‘John Wick’ then, perhaps before he’d even finished watching it, called up his agent and said; “We gotta make a movie like this, can you get me a movie like this?”. From Hannibal Classics and about 14 other investor companies comes this shockingly egregious rip off. Not just of John Wick but also with ‘inspiration’ from Taken as well. However, in this movie scenes that were supposed to be serious repeatedly prompted bellylaughs from me, we’re floating around ‘so bad it’s good’ territory here. I genuinely had to Google this movie and check that it was intended as a comedy.
The film opens with a montage of cop shootings, most of which look deserved, many of them look real. Hell they must be, because more effort was apparently put into those shooting scenes than the big shoot outs in this movie. The intro is to set the tone that violence is rife, society is decaying and our politicians are not doing enough to help. Shortly aftwards, John Travolta is walking his wife to their car. Some pissants demand three dollars, but Travolta is a ‘D-Fens’ mood, which prompts his assailants to stab his woman in the neck.
After the cops do nothing, Travolta heads home and breaks down a dry wall section of his house to reveal an MP5, passports and such. This is the first blatant rip off from John Wick, where Reeves dug out weapons from his basement with a sledge. We then learn that Travolta is ex black ops, and heads over to a friend (Christopher Meloni) who was also in the service to help him out. At this stage, we’re ripping off Taken.
The film is laughable for several reasons. Take the first reprisal, we’re supposed to believe that Travolta and Meloni are a pair of hot shot wet work pros, and yet they don’t notice that people are standing around taking photos of them dumping a body in the garbage, something that comes to have severe repercussion. This ineptitude is repeated throughout the movie with hilarious botches like Meloni being flanked by some gangbanger then falling down the stairs, anyone who’d just walked in might have been forgiven for thinking it was a black comedy. Meloni by the way, does most of the heavy lifting, saving Travolta over and over – why didn’t they call it, ‘We Are Wrath’, or, ‘My Buddy Is Wrath’. It’s almost like a sequel to Wild Hogs, only trying to be serious.
The action scenes are funny. Such as the one where they rip off the John Wick night club scene, right down to the lighting, or even better, the part where John Travolta fights a man with a sword. This has to be the single worst instance of doubling I’ve ever witnessed in a motion picture. They just have some dude wearing the same clothes as Travolta fighting his opponent (can you do those scenes for me?) and absolutely zero attempt is made to cover it. And in between all this stuff, you have acting that belongs in an SNL skit.
Elsewhere, Paul Sloan plays (one of) the baddies in this movie. And I have to say, he was my favourite part of the movie in the serious sense. Sloan looks like the real deal, fearsome, imposing. Too much for John Travolta with his ill convincing attire and tough guy face, I got the sense that one guy would simply destroy the other. But he (Sloan) is underused and wasted. Finally, what finishes this movie off and sends it beyond redemption is that old favourite VOD-killer… the God awful script ‘twist’. Oh man just fucking stop it. In the 1980s when Charles Bronson was doing this thing way, way better, all involved knew that it should be kept simple.