I’ve been careful to go in chronological order here, but I thought it might be nice to mix things up and review something that’s being released next week on BluRay/DVD (and is already available in digital markets, such as iTunes).
Thanks to my friend Shirley Ann for encouraging me to do so.
Here we go
Cast: Adrien Brody, John Malkovich, Rory Culkin, Antonio Banderas, and Han Solo as “DeNiro” (the dog).
Written by: Paul Solet
Directed by: Paul Solet
Genre: It’s like a Crime, Thriller, Action, Drama
Running Time: 1 hour, 33 minutes
Release: December 8, 2017 (Lithuania)
MPAA Rating: R
Adrien’s Role: Stacy
Adrien Brody portrays Stacy. I’m not sure if that’s a last name or first, as he calls his partners by their last name (“Walker”) and nickname (“kid”), respectively. Stacy is an experienced thief pulling the proverbial “last job.” Adrien does a very good job with this part, especially in the scenes that require more emotion (naturally!). You can tell he was really enjoying himself, as Stacy isn’t really the type of guy he gets to play too often.
Stacy’s backstory plays out much better in the deleted scenes provided as part of the iTunes purchase — I assume those will be included on the hard copy video release, as well. We shall see next week.
What I Liked
Adrien was very good in this film. Actually, all the actors did a good job (including the dog!). John Malkovich was more subdued than I’ve seen him before, which was nice. Not that he’s really an over-actor normally, but the restraint we see in him as Walker is very effective.
Rory Culkin as Gage (called “kid” throughout the film) kind of steals the show, here, if I’m being honest. I don’t want to spoil the story, so I’ll just say Culkin was called upon to act out some difficult things, and he nailed it. Absolutely nailed it.
In all honesty, the dog, DeNiro (played by “Han Solo”) gives the most amazing performance I think I’ve ever seen from an animal actor. I’m not even joking. His interactions with the human actors (especially Brody) were exceptional. And, in fact, DeNiro has the best character arc of anyone in the story. Very surprising.
What Bugged Me
Some of the writing is a bit formulaic or cliche for these types of films (action/thriller, etc). A few things I saw coming, just because we as an audience know how these stories go.“Okay, A and B happened, so now C is coming… yup, there it is.”
To be completely honest, I was not expecting to enjoy this film as much as I did. The trailer doesn’t do it justice, and gives no inkling as to how much heart is in this story. It is actually very touching for an “action” or “heist” film (with horror elements), and has an underlying message that is very needed and very appreciated.
I think it’s worth checking out, especially if you are a fan of the lead actors, or “thriller” type films, in general.
Movie Overall: 6/10
Brody Performance: 7/10 (probably a 9/10 during the latter part of the movie)