Mexican drug cartel violence ends at our super well-guarded border? Colt MacReady
knows better. Fortunately, the AWOL commando with authority issues is a match
for any narco-terrorist outfit, but the situation his family finds themselves
in is more real than we would like to admit. Regardless, bad guys are in for a
big hurting in Isaac Florentine’s lean and mean Close Range (trailer
which opens this Friday in select theaters.
widowed sister Angela Reynolds remarried the wrong sleazy drug smuggler. When
he tried to skim a few bucks off his last payment, the cartel abducted his
step-daughter Hailey. That would be MacReady’s niece Hailey. He might not be
around much, but he still isn’t about to stand for that, so he rescues her in
the slam-bang opening sequence.
course, the cartel is hot on their trial, but their corrupt tool, Sheriff Jasper
Calloway slows down MacReady and his family until the out of sorts Garcia Cartel
arrives. Despite the wreckage MacReady left in Mexico, old man Fernando Garcia
assumes a handful of guys can handle MacReady while he holds Angela and Hailey
hostage. Right, good luck with that plan.
Close Range is not exactly what
you would call pretentious, but it delivers plenty of old school, hardnosed
action. This is what Scott Adkins and Isaac Florentine do better than any other
tandem working in film today—and in Close
Range they just do it without a lot worrying about character development or
other extraneous business. Frankly, Adkins’ glowering presence is all the
character establishment we really need. Imagine how awesome the next Batman
movie would have been if he had been cast instead of Ben Affleck. We are all
still bitterly disappointed about that, since his widely reported screen test
gave us so much false hope.
be fair, the criminally underrated Nick Chinlund manages to dig out an
effective character development arc for the cowardly Calloway. When he and Adkins’
MacReady have their final face-off, it is as serious as a heart attack. For what
it’s worth, Caitlin Keats and Madison Lawlor deal with Florentine’s furious
pace and constant hail of bullets gamely enough, even if these were not the
roles they had in mind during their time at the Actor’s Studio or wherever they
It really is a pleasure to watch an unfussy
action film, in which the fights and shoot-outs are clearly framed and
pristinely watchable. Adkins has the chops and Florentine knows how to show
them off. Anyone who grew up with Cannon’s Chuck Norris, JCVD, and Michael
Dudikoff movies will have a nostalgic good time with it (sort of in the
tradition of Avenging Force).
Recommended for genre fans, Close Range is
now available on VOD and opens this Friday (12/11) at the Arena Cinema in Los
Labels: Action films, Isaac Florentine, Scott Adkins