I have a quiz for you, how do you have a decently directed film, by a guy who has been stunt coordinating for years (Face/Off, Mission Impossible 2, Minority Report, Windtalkers, Men in Black, and the list goes on), staring an Oscar winner, Cuba Gooding Jr, and an icon Ray Liotta, along with a bunch of "hey it's that guy from that movie" actors, and have no one on earth, or almost no one hear of it. No release date, no theatrical release, hell, no reviews on IMDB (international movie database, not having a rating on there is like not existing).
And it gets better, I just watched this damn thing, and I gotta say it ain't too shabby. Yes Cuba Gooding Jr., or his agent, whoever runs his career, has done their best to trash his career, but the man can act. I mean, hell, he's like one of two freaking things you remember from 'Pearl Harbour'. Also, for a directing debut, gotta say, Brian Smrz, with the budget you had, damn good. I offer you a muffin in congratulations. Of course I mean that only as a joke, please do not contact me in an effort to retrieve this muffin.
Okay since I know you have yet to hear of this film, here's your daily plot scoop. Cuba Gooding loses his wife and daughter in a car crash. A while later, his life sucks, has no meaning, then while sitting with his buddy having a beer, there is a horrible car crash. Cuba risks life and limb, climbing into the burning car and rescues a little girl. For a time he is the toast of the city, and he likes it. But, over time the city forgets him, and he descends into booze, and self loathing. Enter a bank robbery, where Cuba watches a woman get shot and interferes with the robbers, only to get shot himself. He wakes in the hospital determined to find the men responsible for shooting the woman, and robbing the bank, and bring them some good old fashioned Charles Bronson (Death Wish I through V, look em up folks, well ok, just I) style justice. While Ray Liotta closes in on him in search of this vigilante.
Ok, there are some really cool twists that come a little later in the film. The whole, flash back to the past to explain what's going on in the present, type of twists. So to the inexperienced viewer, you might be a little confused for a while, but the acting, and writing, should keep you going.
This is not a superb cinematic achievement, I don't want to give that impression. It is however, a good old time revenge flick. I could almost see Steven Seagal beating down folks early 90s style while I watched this. Cubey (as I call him) is good in the lead role, and a few of the characters around him are pretty intriguing, ok, well only really the little girl he saved. She was good, good actress, and this whole I'm in love with Cuba cause he saved me thing, was creepy and effective.
The action scenes are fun to watch, you can tell the stunt guru learned more than a few tricks from the director's he worked under. One scene in particular, a wonderful homage, or rip off, of John Woo's swinging camera shots.
And, as we all know, Boony here loves his endings, and this one; yes, it is a little cheesy, and all that, but I liked it. Might rub some peeps as too sweet, the ending that is, but I liked it. It's a revenge flick folks, 90s style. We need a tight wrap up, sunset ending, am I wrong? No, because am I the writer of what is and isn't awesome bitches.... ha ha ha, you are powerless against my shiny sweetness.
How Uwe Boll (yes I watched all your movies, no I did not prejudge, and seriously, you suck. bad, very bad. Anyone that needs a laugh, please read some of this guys interviews, talk about denial. Man thinks he's a genius, and I watched "Heart of America", Uwe, that was crap too, not because I hate you, I couldn't care less, but you make crappy movies, continually. Prove me wrong, prove the damn country wrong... then you won't be the bane of movie goers everywhere. I mean there is a petition on line that has 180,000 signatures to ban you from film... that's like the entire audience for "In the name of a king: A dragon siege tale".... sorry i digress, but wow... just wow) can continue to find his way to theatres however briefly, well this, with the actors it has, and being a good time whooping flick gets snubbed is anyone's guess. I choose to blame, I dunno, how about whatever is killing the bees.... ha!
movie scale 2.5 out of 5 stars
Action scale 3 out of 5 stars