Phil Broker is a former DEA agent who has gone through a crisis after his action against a biker gang went horribly wrong and it cost the life of his boss’ son. He is recently widowed and is left with a 9-years-old daughter,Maddy. He decides to quit the turbulent and demanding life of thrill for Maddy’s sake and retires to a small town. His daughter fights off a boy who was bullying her at school and this sets in motion a round of events that end in his direct confrontation with the local Meth drug lord. His past history with the biker gang also enters the arena, making matters more complex. But he has a mission in his mind to protect his daughter and he is ready to pay any cost that it demands.
Whatever you’re thinking…rethink it.
After the movies “Safe” and “Parker”, which weren’t that great, and “Hummingbird“, which I thought wasn’t that bad but a little different from the standard roles Statham plays normally, he reappears in this straightforward hardcore action. The screenplay was written by Stallone and so it gets a bit of the atmosphere of the action movies from the 80s. The movie appears to be based on a novel by Chuck Logan, Vietnam veteran and author of several crime novels featuring Phil Broker, ex-cop and ex–military, as the main character.
I’ve really enjoyed this movie. Especially the action scenes (unfortunately there are only a few of those) are perfectly suited for an actor like Statham. Fearless, blazing-fast and crashing hard. That is why most people watch a movie with Statham. And they won’t be disappointed. Looking at the beginning of the film I expected the worst. The cliche of a motorcycle gang driving into a city on their way to check a drug lab. Statham is an undercover with long greasy hair. What follows is the DEA flooding the place and attempting to arrest the gang. The exploding drug lab looked like it came out of a TV series from the 80s such as “The A-Team”. A spectacle that resembles a typical firework on the 4th of July.
Due to the trigger-happy policemen who came rushing in, the son of the drug lord is killed with a ridiculous amount of bullets. I suppose they were making sure he won’t survive it. Fortunately, the further course of this film is of a slightly higher level than the weak intro. Beautiful snapshots from South America with images of the bayou like we have seen in “Mud”. What bothers me is the way the local people there are portrayed. They seem to be stereotypical “rednecks” who would welcome a stranger in a contemptuously manner and are more likely to give him a beating as a welcome present. Statham decides to settle there with his 10 year old daughter. An excellent performance of this teenager and probably someone we are going to hear of in the future.
The only downside of this movie is that it’s as simple and predictable as a Sesame Street story. You can expect a “one against all” story, out of which the tormented and threatened father will come as the great triumphator. There were a few ridiculous situations. How is it possible that even though Broker deflected so far away, he ends up in a miserable little town where the local emerging drug baron happens to have a girlfriend who is pretty familiar with the motorcycle gang mentioned earlier. And I don’t think it’s a normal procedure that an ex-cop has an archive with files of criminals lying in his dank basement at home. And certainly not a file from the one who’s after him to take revenge.
But all this can’t spoil the fun with this popcorn movie. Statham is icecold and deadly dangerous. Vidovic convincingly plays the role as a daughter. That she was going to knock down that fat bully, was no surprise. Franco tries to act as a tough guy, but he always gives me the impression he’ll spontaneously burst out into tears. Kate Bosworth is worth a mention as the addicted mother of that little brat and has an incredible big mouth. Winona Ryder was almost unrecognizable as the drug whore, but non-important. And Clancy Brown plays a great role as sheriff of the godforsaken town. Brown better known as Captain Hadley in “The Shawshank Redemption” is cut out for a role as a sheriff who is corrupt.
Conclusion: A predictable storyline with some entertaining fight scenes. A fun movie for a Friday evening.
My rating 7/10
Links : IMDB