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|All the Devils Men
dir-scr Matthew Hope
prd Amory Leader, Hannah Leader
with Milo Gibson, Sylvia Hoeks, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Joseph Millson, William Fichtner, Elliot Cowan, Perry Fitzpatrick, Warren Rusher, Steven Bartle, Mingus Johnston, Ray Bullock Jnr, Ann Akin
release UK 3.Dec.18
Lone wolf: Gibson
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E
Playing on how thugs profit from the War on Terror, this thriller centres on an international bounty hunter with personal demons. Most of the movie is jarringly superficial, with oddly low-key filmmaking that makes each scene feel tentative, including a few sub-par action set-pieces. In the central role, Milo Gibson brings some beefy energy to the screen, helping to spark a growing feeling that something might be at stake here.
In Marrakech, former Navy Seal Jack (Gibson) is working as a private CIA contractor to take out terrorists. A loner, Jack is annoyed to be teamed up with old friend Mike (Fichtner) on his next job. And due to Jack's addiction issues their handler Leigh (Hoeks) insists on adding cocky mercenary Pete (Akinnagbe) to the team as they head to London to track down the villainous rogue agent McKnight (Cowan) and his personal army of killers. Their first contact is Jack's old colleague Tony (Millson), who will work for whoever pays the most.
The filmmaking isn't even up to the quality of a cops and robbers TV series. Shootouts and fistfights are adequate, but car chases are limp. Aside from some outbursts of attitude between the characters, there's very little energy. And the plot feels like it was constructed by the numbers, complete with all of the expected twists. Basically, the movie is a series of set-pieces in which Jack and his cohorts face off against Tony and his, with big guns blazing around abandoned warehouses in East London.
Gibson has a hairy, muscled he-man charisma, which helps him rise above the character's simplistic battle trauma-fuelled drug problem. The actor struggles with the emotional beats and expository monologs, but is just right for Jack's brooding physicality. Still, like everyone else on-screen, he's upstaged by Millson, who adds a freewheeling swagger to a character who happily plays everyone against each other. This is as complex as the film gets, and Millson very nearly steals the film from Gibson.
This is a blunt-edged thriller that will entertain audiences who have an insatiable taste for gunplay. The main problem is that every moment of the film is awash in cliches. The cut-and-paste characters, dialog, action and story itself feel far too familiar, and never remotely compelling. With a more carefully crafted premise and plot, the script might have been able to create some proper intensity, because writer-director Hope nicely builds a sense of menace that grabs hold a little too late in the game.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S
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© 2018 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
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