Directed by McG
Written by Luc Besson, Adi Hasak
Starring: Kevin Costner, Hailee Steinfeld, Amber Heard, Connie Nielsen, Tómas Lemarquis, Richard Sammel
Ethan Renner (Costner) has spent his entire career chasing down targets for the C.I.A.. This pursuit has cost him the connection he seeks with his teenaged daughter (Steinfeld) and his ex-wife (Nielsen). Now he’s retiring, and hoping to rebuild his relationships with his family. After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, Renner is given a chance to extend his life with an experimental drug. The drug comes with strings attached, as he’s forced to go to work one more time.
This film was written by Luc Besson (Taken) and Adi Hasak (From Paris with Love), and directed by McG (We Are Marshall). The cast features a number of well-known faces including Kevin Costner (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit), Hailee Steinfeld (Ender’s Game), Connie Nielsen (Gladiator), and Amber Heard (Drive Angry). Also featured are Tómas Lemarquis (Snowpiercer) and Richard Sammel (Life is Beautiful).
This is an interesting movie that fits into the vein of films like Crank. So the story is one that we’ve seen before, but this does some things to keep it fresh. In short, this is a movie about someone who has no choice to do something since their life literally depends on it. The dialogue is stronger than I expected, allowing the action to speak for the movie when it matters most. I’m glad that they avoided any drawn out monologues from Costner and of the other stars. There are a few weaknesses in the character development. I think the writing shortchanged the opportunity to use Steinfeld to her full potential. Otherwise, this is a good action flick that will keep you entertained without doing anything new.
The acting in this movie is actually really good. I went into this one with relatively low expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised by the finished product. Costner does a good job, working with a role that felt very natural for him. He also plays well alongside Steinfeld and Nielsen. Amber Heard has a very interesting role in this movie, and she does a good job with it. Unfortunately, the performance is a bit awkward because of the way the character is written into the film. Lemarquis and Sammel both do good work with their roles as well. Overall, a good performance from the cast, but not great.
The action sequences in this movie are pretty great. When watching an action film, I’m willing to forgive a lot if the action is good. This movie has some great sequences that are really intense. The violence is meted out with a somewhat conservative hand, making those scenes more impactful on the story as a whole. Visually, the film does all the things it needs to do to remain interesting. The score, by Guillaume Roussel (Outcast), also does the job keeping this one interesting.
This is a good movie for all those action fans out there who want explosions, shootings, and all the rest. I would recommend this to fans of Costner as well. If you liked Crank or anything like it, this should work for you. Like I said before, this doesn’t break any new ground, but it’s interesting. I give this one 3.3 out of 5 stars.