(2019) Action (Netflix) Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, Pedro Pascal, Adria Arjona, Louis Jeovanny, Juan Camilo Castillo, Rey Gallegos, Madeline “Maddy” Wary, Johan Ochoa, Francisco Martinez, Pablo Cesar Sanchez, Kevin Vasquez, Jose Rodriguez, Enzo Morales, Hilliard Joshua Meeks, Amber Stone. Directed by JC Chandor
JC Chandor has made several films that look with an unblinking eye at the drawbacks of American capitalism, and in this movie, an action movie with a fine cast, he surprisingly does so again. A group of former U.S. elite Special Forces operatives who for the most part have been struggling adjusting to civilian life (none more so than Affleck’s “Redfly” Davis) are talked into taking on a new mission, staking out a South American drug lord’s mansion for the purpose of robbing him blind. However, what seems to be a great idea goes sideways and quickly turns into a fight for survival, particularly as greed begins to rear it’s ugly head.
Although the cinematography is lovely and the action sequences well-staged, the movie suffers from a been there-done that plot, a lack of character development and a surprisingly over-the-top performance by Affleck. Isaac distinguishes himself here, adding to his reputation of being one of the best and most consistent actors in Hollywood today. This is a movie with a lot going for it on paper that sadly doesn’t translate well to the finished product.
REASONS TO SEE: Terrific cast, with Isaac standing out in particular.
REASONS TO AVOID: Fairly standard for what it is.
FAMILY VALUES: There is profanity and violence.
TRIVIAL PURSUIT: Tom Hardy and Channing Tatum were originally attached to the project in the lead roles, but dropped out due to creative differences with the rewritten script. Paramount dropped the project shortly afterwards, but after Affleck and Isaac were cast Netflix picked it up.
BEYOND THE THEATERS: Netflix
CRITICAL MASS: As of 1/4/22: Rotten Tomatoes: 71% positive reviews; Metacritic: 61/100.
COMPARISON SHOPPING: The Wages of Fear
FINAL RATING: 6/10
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