Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Standoff: Laurence Fishburne Gets Villainous
haven’t seen a cemetery this isolated since Night
of the Living Dead. It makes sense for someone in hiding to hold a memorial
service there, but it is curtains for all when a hitman gets the drop on them.
The nearest house belongs to Carter Greene, which is sort of convenient,
considering he is one the brink of suicide. However, he puts everything on hold
when a twelve year-old witness seeks his protection. The combat veteran will
dig-in with her for the duration in Adam Alleca’s Standoff (trailer
opens this Friday in New York.
little orphan Isabel has already had quite a time of it. She still clings to
the camera given to her by her deceased father, which will be significant when
her aunt’s soon-to-be-late boyfriend takes her to visit her parent’s grave. She
does indeed manage to get a snap of the killer at work, sans mask. Somehow she
reaches Greene’s house just in time. Still grieving the son who died due to his
own negligence, the former soldier was one or two shots away from ending it
all. Instead, he gets a flesh wound in the leg from the killer, returning the
favor with some twenty gauge buckshot to the waist.
they are out in the middle of nowhere, the killer can simply let his siege play
out. Greene has the advantage when it comes to relative blood loss, but the
killer has an overwhelming ammunition edge. He has a full clip, whereas Greene
only has one short-range, wide dispersing shell left. The killer is also better
at talking trash, but Greene is surprisingly resourceful—and in need of redemption.
Standoff is a perfectly
good reminder that you can’t make a pizza without plenty of cheese. Let’s be
honest, Laurence Fishburne’s villainy muscles have atrophied since his
career-making performance as Ike Turner. However, he delivers some howlingly
ludicrous lines with gusto. You have to give him credit for chewing the scenery
like a champ, making Standoff rather watchable.
It also leaves Thomas Jane as the strong, silent type, which was surely a
relief to him.
continue giving credit where it is due, Ella Ballentine is also quite good as
the ticky and withdrawn Isabel. She comes across as a convincingly messed-up
kid, without ever trying the audience’s patience. We never want Greene to kick
her down the staircase, which is often the glaring weakness in films like this.
really isn’t that manipulative either. Alleca is much more concerned with
the tactics and strategies employed in each skirmish. Of course, there are
preposterous plot holes all over the place, but at least everyone came to play.
It is a total B-movie, but it is worth a stream when it inevitably turns up on
Netflix, which should be in about twelve hours after its release. In the
meantime, it opens this Friday (2/12) in New York, at the Cinema Village.
Labels: Laurence Fishburne, Thomas Jane