Joe Carnahan directs Gerard Butler, Frank Grillo and Alexis Louder in this action thriller where a hitman and a target purposefully get themselves arrested in a police station and a tough cop has to do everything to stop them and everyone else from killing each other.
Eddie in 48 Hrs! Bruce Willis in Die Hard! Damon and Affleck in Good Will Hunting! Isn’t it exciting when a new star emerges straight out the gates? Where is their career going to go after that blistering breakout central performance? Like Harrison Ford or Anne Hathaway, are they continually keep going to go on to bigger better things after catching the eye? Or like Jason Schwartzman or Michael Beihn are they going to recede into the background a little too far after their big introduction to the general public? Some pretty boys take decades to live up to and mature into their reputations (see Cruise, Pitt). I know this yet I can’t ever see Chalamet cross over into my “liked” column… And it does seem Marvel have suddenly run out of charismatic breakout Chrises who can do comedy and action with aplomb! Very few Denzels or Amy Adams out there now, names who whatever they turn their hand to becomes a must-see… irrespective of eventual quality. So where will Alexis Louder land after this hard as nails, cool as hell debut? A stepping stone following Cynthia Erivo or Taraji P Henson onto more prestigious things? Or like co-star Frank Grillo a mainstay of genre work, always welcome, adding value, but shamefully never a household name? She makes such an impression… holds her own among the macho stars… that you wanna know what she is doing next? Grillo is on usual fine form and this might be the best thing Butler has been in for years… since Rock’N’Rolla which already feels a lifetime ago. It is a fine hotel movie… exactly what you want to appear on the TV schedule of Spanish or Moroccan TV that night when you’ve exhausted yourself doing touristy things and want to order room service in your pants. The action is gory and smokey, the influences hip and vintage. Carnahan does this aggressive, smart alec, claustrophobic nasty really well. Making the verbal sparring as strong as the blam-blam. He rips off Rio Bravo, he rips off Assault on Precinct 13 and he rips off his own Smokin’ Aces. None of those movies were that precious or original to begin with. I’d rewatch this again in a heartbeat even though it merely just does what it does with minimal bells and whistles.
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