There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.
Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) is a skilled mercenary. He currently lives in Australia, on a remote property, and is still getting over the death of his son and his separation from his wife as a result of that. Since the passing of his son, Tyler Rake has been a hollow shell, taking on increasingly dangerous jobs. Nik Khan (Golshifteh Farahani) leads the team that Tyler works with, and suspects that he has been taking on difficult missions in the hopes that one may finally kill him.
They have just received a new job, where the son of a crime lord in India has been kidnapped by a rival crime lord in Bangladesh. The job is to rescue the boy, Ovi Mahajan (Rudhraksh Jaiswal), and get him to an extraction point. However, the two crime lords have been at war with each other for a long time, so rescuing the boy and getting him to the extraction point will mean going through all-out war. However, Tyler's team ends up getting betrayed. Stuck alone in the middle of a war-zone, in which all of the crime-lord's men are looking for him and the boy, Tyler Rake must find a way to get Ovi safely to the extraction point.
The Pros & Cons
|The Pros||The Cons|
Tyler & Ovi (+5pts)
The Action (+8pts)
Saju & The Plot (+3pts)
Pro: Tyler & Ovi (+5pts)
I started this movie expecting good action, and not much more, but I actually ended up enjoying Tyler's story and his relationship with the boy, Ovi. Tyler's story was a tragic one. He lost everything when his son died and when he separated from his wife. When we met him in this story, he was really just hoping for an end to his life. Then he got this mission.
Ovi was about the age that Tyler's son would have been, and he needed help. As such, Tyler was determined to keep the boy safe, and was willing to risk his own life to do so. I do not want to say much about Tyler and Ovi's relationship together, as I do not want to spoil the movie. What I can say is that Ovi trusted Tyler, and Tyler was not going to let anything happen to him. Tyler's story was a tragic one, and Chris Hemsworth brought that to the screen in an impactful way, which made it really easy to connect with him risking everything for Ovi.
Con: Amir (-2pts)
This guy was nothing special in terms of action movie antagonists. He was your stereotypical antagonistic crime lord. He punished people by having them cut off their own fingers, the filmmakers showed him doing something bad (such as throwing a kid off of a rooftop) just to show how bad he was, and he had some bad men working for him. He also never got his own hands dirty, and orchestrated everything from a distance, while watching it all through what must have been a magical pair of binoculars (based on how much he as able to see and how precisely he was able to see it), and grinning just so you knew he was confident and was enjoying the chaos. It was not a huge deal, because this was honestly what I was expecting from this character, but Amir was a pretty bland and unremarkable action movie antagonist.
Pro: The Action (+8pts)
The action in this movie was simply excellent. Tyler Rake was like John Wick with a gun, but his strength made a lot of his hand-to-hand combat sequences truly brutal. The guy was a warrior, and he went through a countless number of baddies with an incredibly entertaining brutality, but he took plenty of hits as well. As the movie progressed, Tyler Rake became more and more injured, and each injury stuck with him.
It made it so that as the movie progressed, his likelihood of survival decreased, which made each subsequent action sequence more suspenseful and more dramatic than the last. This was an action movie in which the filmmakers absolutely nailed the action in the most entertaining way. Was it as entertaining as the action in a movie like John Wick? Not exactly, but it was pretty darn close, as there were plenty of awesome action moments throughout this movie.
Con: Farhad (-3pts)
Let me first say that there was one action scene involving this character and his buddies, and it was absolutely excellent. I do not want to say anything about it, because I do not want to give it away, but it was a ton of fun for the short time that it was happening. Outside of that scene, however, I did not like this character at all. His story was not interesting, and it got a lot of focus anyway. He was one of Amir’s young henchmen, and his story was all about him trying to prove himself to the crime lord.
The character was just not interesting enough to warrant the amount of screen-time he got. He wanted to prove himself, and to do so, he wanted to kill Tyler Rake himself. I did not buy that this kid would have been able enough to do so, as the whole movie was spent showing Tyler Rake decimating waves of far more experienced men than Farhad, so I did not see the character as a threat. The character also got no development whatsoever, so I did not care about him or his goals. The character was just a waste of screen-time, screen-time that could have been spent developing more interesting characters like Nik Khan.
Pro: Saju & The Plot (+3pts)
Saju (Randeep Hooda) worked for Ovi’s father, and hired Tyler Rake and his team for their services, but he did not have the money to pay for those services. His plan was simple: wait for Tyler Rake to obtain the kid, then intercept the kid and not pay. Did his plan go well? I will let you find out for yourself, but I liked the obstacle that this character made for Tyler Rake and I enjoyed the action sequences that came from it.
The filmmakers promised action. That was their primary focus, and would say that they delivered. With that in mind, it would be silly to go into this movie expecting a complex or compelling plot, because that was not what this movie was. I always hate when filmmakers take an action movie like this, and give it a forcefully complicated plot, because that usually ruins the movie. With this movie, the filmmakers kept the plot simple. There was a clear objective, one that facilitated a lot of great action, and that was all there was to it. The filmmakers delivered an incredibly simple plot, but it worked for this movie. It allowed the filmmakers to keep the focus on the action, as it should have been, and I appreciated that.
Con: Nik (-2pts)
This was a character I found to be interesting, but the filmmakers gave no focus to her story. She worked with Tyler Rake, managed the team and the operation, and clearly cared for Tyler’s well-being. Outside that, the character got no development and I think she should have. She was cold when the mission needed her to be, but she clearly cared for Tyler Rake. She was primarily a behind-the-scenes operative, managing the team from a distance, but she was willing to get her hands dirty in the field, and was effective in it when Tyler needed the help. The character was one of the more interesting, cool, and complex—as she clearly had conflicting motivations when the mission went wrong—characters in the story, but the filmmakers gave her no focus, which I thought was a wasted opportunity.
Grade: B- (84pts)
I thought this was a pretty decent action movie. The plot was simple, but effective, and the action was really great. The action was brutal, it was hard-hitting, and it was constant, which made for a pretty entertaining movie. The antagonist was pretty unremarkable, and Farhad was an unbelievable and uninteresting character, yet the filmmakers gave both characters plenty of screen-time. Then there was the character of Nik, who I actually found to be interesting, but the filmmakers gave her no real development or focus.
Despite this movie's relatively minor issues, which were all related to side characters, I thought this movie was pretty decent for what it was. The movie was first and foremost an action movie, and in that regard this movie was really entertaining. The filmmakers delivered a simple plot that never took focus away from the action, it was simply a vehicle for it. I liked the relationship between Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) and Ovi (the boy). I also liked the extra obstacle that the character Saju brought to Tyler's mission. However, this movie was really all about the action, and I thought that action was pretty great, which made it an entertaining action movie.