I love Denzel Washington, even though half the movies he’s in I have a hard time watching because usually they end up making my heart pound a little faster than I would like, haha. As for Ryan Reynolds, I think I’ve only liked him in two movies, and that was in School of Life (2005) and The Proposal (2009). So really, Denzel was the main reason why I even wanted to try this movie.
Thankfully this movie didn’t make my heart race as much as American Gangster (2007) did. I know, I know, I’m a weakling when it comes to most action movies, haha. This is why you will never see me review anything remotely close to the horror genre. That’s where I draw my line. Anyway, I do have to give Reynolds a little bit of credit; I felt like his acting was okay here. Then again, the role he played was so generic, I could see plenty of other actors filling his space had he decided to not take the part.
Now I’m not going to go through the play-by-play for this movie, because if you’ve watched a ton of action/crime/thriller movies, you pretty much won’t be wowed or surprised by anything in this movie. I think it’s fair to say that this is your typical action movie swinging by to say hello, and to give you another familiar fix of your favorite things—though they mostly lay off the C4 here; you get more bullets than things going *boom.*
Maybe it’s just me, but I felt like the story was kind of crazy and didn’t entirely seem to make sense to me. Like it was never fully clear to me why Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington’s character) turned in the first place. To offset corruption? Even if that were the case, why risk your life for it? The thrill, maybe? I don’t know. The other part that really didn’t seem to make sense for a better part of the movie was why in the world did Reynold’s character, Matt Weston, think it was such a great idea to let Frost drive.
I will admit though, I couldn’t help but enjoy this movie for what it was, even though some of the scenes were incredibly recycled from other action movies. The ending of the movie was also suspiciously similar to the ending of Mission Impossible III: Ghost Protocol. In a way, the story had a bit of a vicious cycle feel to it too. Throughout the course of the movie Frost sort of becomes Weston’s mentor, and their initial dynamic is like oil and water. A couple ironic statements are made; Weston believes he will never be like Frost and even Frost says at some point that Weston is the better man, though perhaps the writers just stuck that line in for irony’s sake. Anyhow, by the end of the movie, student basically picks up where mentor left off, and I feel like the ending implies Weston will now be living the way Frost did. At least, until he dies too anyway, maybe even passing on the torch himself. Who knows. This movie pretty much gave me what I think the trailer had me expecting, and from start to finish I didn’t find there to be any real surprises.
Now for the ratings bit:
Re-watch Factor: **
FINAL VERDICT: C-
On a side note, lately I’m wondering if maybe we’ve hit a plateau in the movie-making world. Of course, if we have, I don’t think that’s entirely the fault of the business. I think it’s more like people have been around for so many years, and we’ve been telling stories for so many years that at this point, it’s really hard to come up with something that hasn’t already been done before. I mean just within the last year alone, I think we’ve seen a ridiculous amount of sequels, reboots, remakes, and re-releases in 3D. It makes me wonder if filmmakers have reached a limit to their creativity, or if our movie-making generation is just filled with a lot of lazy creative minds. Hopefully it’s the latter; I’d much rather believe that we just need to step up our game rather than accept that (much like Frost’s glass of wine from the movie), we’ve hit “as good as it’ll ever get.”
Phew! Five entries in one day. I wonder if that’s a record for me. And yet, as much as I’ve written, I’m still nowhere closer to getting rid of all the drafts that have just been sitting in my posting queue for ages. I’ve really got to get on it before I start bubbling over with more ideas on what to write about—it’s really starting to feel like I’m procrastinating on homework, and I’m not even in school anymore! Hahaha.