Country: USA / France
Movie Review: After a great return with David Gordon Green’s “Joe”, Nicolas Cage falls in another minor exercise on the action genre, this time by the hand of Spanish filmmaker Paco Cabezas. The daughter of Paul Maguire (Cage), a retired former criminal, is kidnapped after his house has been broken into. A few days later her body is found dead, and everything points to the Russian mafia, in what they suspect to be a revenge for a dirty job made in the past. Maguire, thirsty to make justice, will reunite two of his trustful gangster pals, declaring open war to the Russians and triggering a spiral of violence. Writers Jim Agnew and Sean Keller worked together again after Dario Argento’s “Giallo”, in a feeble plot that leads to a complete absence of interest, as the shootings and tortures follow one another without offering something sustainable or different. Instead of a more meticulous and suspenseful approach, Cabezas opted for showy rough scenes where the connections aren’t always clear, relegating the film for those tiresome C grade movies where you cannot identify with any character, no matter how much you try to. Not even Cage’s usual competence disguised the weaknesses and banality of a bad story transformed in an even worse film. The contemptible production values didn’t help improving the triviality presented here, and the film takes us to completely dull conclusions that are much more laughable than shocking. Completed on a $25 million budget, I wonder how better this film could have been made.