(director: Brandon Slagle; screenwriters: Chad Law/Josh Ridgeway; cinematographer: Niccolo De La Fere; editors: Austin Nordell, James Kondelik; music: Randy Kalsi; cast: Casper Van Dien (Russell Cody), Nicky Whelan (Sheriff Jo Newman), Louis Mandylor (Rafe Calderon), Kim Delonghi (Eva Carter), Mike Ferguson (Floyd McGraw), Devanny Pinn (Sommer Edward), Ryan Francis (Jay Stamper), Eoin O’Brien (“Big Jim” Pruett), Randall J. Bacon (Jonathan “Jox” Apone), Randy Wayne (Dale Elkins) Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Daemon Hillin; Saban Films/Lionsgate; 2023)
“The film stands out for its negatives–being unfocused, incoherent and poorly executed.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
This schlocky low-budget action B-film is weakly directed by Brandon Slagle (“Breakout”/”Battle for Saipon”), and is co-written without clarity by Chad Law and Josh Ridgeway. It pits man-eating alligators against cops and prisoners during a fierce CGI-created hurricane that floods a Louisiana jail. The routine action scenes are not plausible. Its screen lighting was so dark it was hard to see the action—plus it’s overcooked with too many unnecessary subplots. What adds to the woes is that the villains are one-note characters and it is so outdated it could have played in the 1970s drive-ins and not been released as a modern-day film.
Because of a raging hurricane, a busload of dangerous convicts in transit (including the sensitive cop killer Russell Cody-Casper Van Dien) must spend the night in a small-town jail in rural Louisiana not equipped for either the hurricane or criminals. There’s tension between the convicts and the tough lady sheriff (Nicky Whelan) who has been forced to take them in by her indifferent bosses.
Just when the gators (digital creations) sneak into the prison through a vent in the roof (don’t ask how they reached the roof!), an attempt is made by a bunch of armed men from the outside, whose leader (Rafe Calderon) is intent on freeing the cop killer in a jail break, who one partnered with him as his getaway driver.
The film stands out for its negatives–being unfocused, incoherent and poorly executed.
REVIEWED ON 7/26/2023 GRADE: C-