Signed up the 28/03/2017
Jason Momoa stars in this drama action/thriller as Joe Braven. The movie takes place in a quiet, lonely town where not much goes on other than heavy snows clovering over the wide and majestic landscape—a la Wind River. Joe is a hard-working logger and family man who's priority is taking care of his family.
The Bravens find themselves at their family cabin with the aim to have some silence while trying to resolve an urgent family matter. Things quickly take an unimaginable turn when the cabin is stalked by a bunch of drug-movers who've used the isolated cabin as a stash-spot upon encountering an accident with the truck that was moving the bulk of drugs.
Before I go anywhere further, this movie was exciting in the sense that it had a fresh plot that had the potential to really get audiences excited about action movies again. Although we keep watching out of habit, we're simply fatigued from the Takens and the John Wicks, so this particular movie would've served as a welcomed refresher course for action thrillers from 2018 forth. Even better that it stars Khal Drogo turned Aquaman, the legitimate bad boy Jason Mamoa himself.
Needless to say, this movie threw its potential out the window from the word go. If as a filmmaker you introduce characters in a manner that is indolent, forgettable and plain boring then you've got a croaking situation in your hands because all you'll be doing for the rest of the film is try to play catch-up. The mistake of not developing characters well enough has this movie in a choke-hold the entire 1h34min, as the director shuffles to stuff fillers in the dozens of holes in the subplots said characters carry out. We're thus forced to follow a film that is over-explanatory and makes empty promises from scene to scene.
The central story is of a mentally ill elderly man, Braven's father, whose soppy story about him not being able to accept his late wife's passing. As much potential as that narrative has, it exists merely to serve as nothing more than a tool to drive the plot, thus never getting explored beyond that. Nothing is explored further than a tease of the arc, in fact.
Braven's wife and their daughter are introduced in such a way that we're made to believe that they'd at least be a significant part of the film, but they also just turn out to be props for the grand scheme. The daughter could've been made to be as badass as X23 in Logan, or the heart-rending part of the story like the little girl in War for the Planet of the Apes. Alas!
It's highly annoying trying to follow a movie that has no particular plans for any of its characters. We're made to follow a hollow plot that only thrives on forced grit and violence. It's in the action scenes that we're at least interested. But this is not because they're good, it's instead owed to the fact that we've been bored for most of the 1st and 2nd acts of the movie, and by now even a driplet of blood would be enough to arouse intrigue. The fighting choreography is one of the most horrible, coupled with the atrocious editing. What makes this all worse is that the director was once upon a movie stunt-man (The Equalizer, Inception) so there's really no reason for these scenes to be that unbearable. This exposes the new director for incompetence at this stage of his career, but I personally do hope he goes on to improve through the years.
There are a lot of cringe-worthy moments in this movie that you'll start chilling out after a while and begin to enjoy the absolute BS that unfolds and only gets even more ridiculous with each scene. Just when you think things couldn't get sillier, you find Joe leaping off a hill for no other reason than it looks good (or they at least they thought it should). Sometimes a script should be revised a thousand times before it is sent to production, and this is one of those unfortunate cases.
If you're chilled enough to look at this movie as an action satire, then you'll be fine watching it. If you're absolutely fussy about your movies—but you're of course intrigued by Aquaman leading this quiet movie—then don't even bother. You'll probably be randomly tipping over people's coffee mugs for a whole week or two after warching this disgruntled mess. Love and light to you if Jason Momoa's boyish charm convinces you to watch anyway.
Post a reply