Note: This is film #79 of my 365 Film Challenge.
I remember when this movie came out because it was around the time I realised that cinema trips were pretty much off the table for 2020 and I’d have to rely on Netflix and the other streaming services for movies, and this, an action movie with Chris Hemsworth seemed like my kinda thing.
Hemsworth stars as Tyler Rake, an ex-special forces soldier who now makes his living as a mercenary. Battle scarred and seemingly unafraid of death, Rake is hired to go to Dhaka, Bangladesh to extract Ovi (Rudhraksh Jaiswal) the teenage son of an imprisoned crimelord who has been kidnapped by a rival.
After rescuing the kid, Rake’s team are betrayed and killed, with Ovi’s father’sgang refusing to pay the ransom. Rake’s boss tells him to ditch Ovi and get outta there, but he refuses, remembering his own son who was killed, and goes on the run with the kid. However, the city has been sealed off by the enemy and, massively outnumbered, Rake is forced to try and fight his way out. He has to deal with gang members and corrupt cops, while trying to find anyone he can trust in the city.
The tone of this movie is a bit uneven, with some of it being a kinda fun, if vicious, action flick but then some genuinely unpleasant moments, like when a young boy is tossed from a rooftop by a gangster looking for stolen money. Also, scenes where Hemsworth finds himself facing off against street kids recruited by the gangs are uncomfortable watching as this gigantic Aussie beats the crap out of teenagers and kids. Although his exclamation of “f**king s**ts” at the end of the fight did make me laugh, as does his description of them as “the Goonies from hell”.
The movie it most reminded me of was the Tony Scott movie Man on Fire with Denzel Washington. As well as the “hardened killer and kid” dynamic, it has a similar yellowish colour and nastiness to it, but still works for me.
The action scenes, especially a sequence where Rake battles Ovi’s former bodyguard are wonderfully done, with lots of close quarters, handheld work which makes them feel fresh, fast and engagingly chaotic. The fight, which sees them dodging traffic and pedestrians, falling off balconies and smashing about as they struggle over weapons, is frankly superb.
A few of the story beats are predictable enough, but on the whole it’s a rather entertaining and exciting watch, and the interactions between Rake and Oti are rather well done and charming. Hemsworth makes for a likeable enough hero, nailing the tortured vibe of the character and convincing as a badass fighter. 7/10.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.