Written by Guillermo Troncoso.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s come back is in full swing. He’s starring alongside Sylvester Stallone in the upcoming action-thriller The Tomb and he’ll be playing a DEA Agent in David Ayer’s upcoming action-drama Ten. Fingers crossed those films are any good, because this just isn’t a good start.
The leader of a drug cartel breaks out of prison, jumps in a hotted-up car and attempts to drive to Mexico. Unfortunately for him, he’s going to have to drive through a small town that has Arnie as its sheriff. That’s the basic gist of this disposable action flick.
Arnie has never soared in the acting field – and he isn’t expected to. He does his thing here and provides us with his usual wise-cracking tough guy. If you are a massive Schwarzenegger fan watching this for him – and him alone – then you should be happy. Apart from seeing the classic action star back up on the big screen, this doesn’t have much else going for it.
The story is so generic and clichéd that you’ll find your interest wandering constantly. The number of issues bringing this film down adds up faster than the body count does.
The sub-plot following Forest Whitaker’s FBI agent and his team’s failed attempts at catching this fugitive is such a waste of time that almost half the film is made redundant. It seems like it was only yesterday that Whitaker was an “Oscar-calibre” actor and now he’s wasting his time in films like this. Everyone seems to have been wasted. The film seems so scared to flesh out any of the characters that these caricatures do nothing more than deliver quips while pulling triggers. They’re almost as superficial as the “town” that serves as the film’s setting.
You can see what the filmmakers were going for here. This should have been some brainless fun that entertained with kick-ass action scenes, but even the action scenes seem amateur.
There’s a dose of childish humour that doesn’t quite gel with some of the violence. Mind you, this isn’t the kind of flick that you’re meant to take seriously, but if you have all the elements of a fun action film at least do them well.
The film has the feel of a straight-to-video release. Sure, there is some humour and there may be an action scene that will raise an eye-brow or two, but this is a cringe-worthy Arnie vehicle that won’t do anyone in it any good. It’s a shame that South Korean director Jee-woon Kim (A Tale Of Two Sisters, A Bittersweet Life, I Saw The Devil) made this his English-language debut.
THE REEL SCORE: 4/10