(director/writer: Tim J. Brown; cinematographer: Mark Irwin; editors: Robert Brakey, Kurt Nishimura; music: Roger Suen; cast: Nicolas Cage (Matt), Ron Perlman (Bobo), Grace Byers (Hector), Thalia Campbell (Sarah), Ernie Hudson (Joseph), Ashley Greene Khoury (Ashley),, Jordan Johnson-Hinds (Jimmy), Fitzsimmons (Joel David Moore), Jackie Earle Haley (Donnie); Runtime: 103; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Doug Murray, William G. Santor, Nicholas Tabarrok; Falling Forward Films; 2023)

“With only a few funny moments and terrible acting from the supporting cast, the escapist film can’t escape from itself.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Tim J. Brown (“Treasure Hounds”/”Buckley’s Chance”) sloppily directs and writes this goofy hitman comedy-action-crime pic. It stars Nicolas Cage as the ex-hitman named Matt. It should take the more astute viewer just a few seconds to forget this disposable B-film, whose plot is simple and dumb. Its story is contrived and predictable, and its charm vanishes as quickly as a wave when it turns violent.

Jimmy (Jordan Johnson-Hinds) steals a hard-drive, that has mob secrets on it, from the ruthless crime boss Donnie (
Jackie Earle Haley). Jimmy’s wife Ashley (Ashley Greene Khoury) stashes the hard drive in the backpack of their 11-year-old daughter Sarah (Thalia Campbell). To protect her daughter from the Miami mobsters, mom puts her daughter on a flight to the Cayman Islands to stay with her estranged dad Matt, but doesn’t tell him she’s coming. Matt’s a former government top-assassin now retired.

Following Sarah on the next flight is
the mob boss’s top henchman Bobo (Ron Perlman), charged with retrieving the drive, along with a bunch of muscle-bound goons. When Bobo kidnaps Sarah, mom then flies to the Caymen Islands and tracks down the father she hasn’t seen for years and never knew was an assassin for the government. The now scraggly looking, long-haired, whiskey drinking, beach bum dad, agrees to rescue his grand-daughter.

We’re led to believe the 59-year-old Cage, playing a grandpa, can handle the younger and more fit mobsters, as he rescues Sarah and kills all the goons with some help from former CIA operatives he calls upon like the agent Joseph (
Ernie Hudson).

With only a few funny moments and terrible acting from the supporting cast, the escapist film can’t escape from itself.

REVIEWED ON 10/16/2023  GRADE: C+