(director: Joe Lynch; screenwriters: Adam G. Simon/Stuart F. Wilson, Buster Reeves; cinematographer: Juan Miguel Azpiroz; editor: Jim Page; music: Mitch Lee; cast: Frank Grillo (Abe), Anthony Mackie (Paul), Boris McGiver (Masterson), Marcia Gay Harden (Lt. Lewis), Christian Cooke (Mateo), Teyonah Parris (Taryn); Runtime: 86; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Joe Carnahan/Frank Grillo/Johana Byer; Netflix; 2019)
“A half-baked remake of Fred Cavaye’s 2010 French thriller.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A half-baked remake of Fred Cavaye’s 2010 French thriller, with the same title, about an action-packed one-night adventure of a nurse teaming up with a criminal after his wife is kidnapped. Director Joe Lynch (Mayhem”/”Everly”) keeps it pulsating in the beginning with a high-powered chase scene, but otherwise it’s a film of great ineptitude. It was already remade once before in South Korea as The Target.
While fleeing a crime scene in Cincinnati, Abe (Frank Grillo), the wounded gun-toting criminal jumps from a residential balcony while engaged in an ongoing gun battle with thugs in ski masks. He then runs down the block to get into the parked car of his crime partner brother Mateo (Christian Cooke), but is hit by a passing car. As the cops quickly swarm in to the area, the brother takes off without Abe. The wounded and unconscious Abe is found by the police and rushed to the hospital as an accident victim. The cops are unaware of his part in the nearby murder of the assistant district attorney. This part of the film is promising as the set-up for an expected adrenaline-laden thrill ride to follow. But the fun vanishes after its opening sequence and it turns cheesy.
At the hospital Abe is treated by the kind male ER nurse Paul (Anthony Mackie), whose wife Taryn (Taryn) is in the late stages of a pregnancy. Meanwhile the homicide detectives Masterson (Boris McGiver) and Lt. Lewis (Marcia Gay Harden, miscast in this tricky role) investigate the crime scene and Abe is linked to the crime and held by the police at the hospital. To free Abe, Mateo takes Taryn as a hostage after raiding her home and warns Paul he will harm her if he doesn’t help his brother escape.
The film wets its pants when it brings in some absurd complications. We learn Abe is in possession of a flash drive full of incriminating evidence against the dirty cops after him. So now we see that the career criminal Abe and Mateo are really the good guys (oy!) and not the bad guys as first perceived (never mind the kidnapping).
There are so many movie cliches hindering this pointless B-film, and it only gets worse and worse with every ludicrous twist and turn. The final insult is in how feeble and emotionally flat was the contrived and unearned happy climax.
REVIEWED ON 8/1/2019 GRADE: C