Sunday, 24 January 2016

Close Range (2015)

Cementing his place as the new JCVD? well Adkins is certainly churning out the movies, alas none of them are nowhere near as good as JCVD's earlier offerings. This movie seems to follow the same kind of themes as JCVD's 'Nowhere to Run' if you ask me, to a degree...OK visually maybe. The plot is breathtakingly basic and revolves around MacReady, a soldier gone A.W.O.L. who must protect his sister and niece from a drug cartel. The reason being his sister is married to some low life fool who gets caught up with the drug cartel and the corrupt local sheriff over merchandise and a flashcard containing important information. MacReady was serving overseas but assaulted his commanding officer apparently, he then ran off, as you do. Yet somehow he pops up back in the USA ready to take on the bad guys (how did he manage this?).

K so lets get down to the nitty gritty here, we're all gonna watch this for one reason alone and that's Adkins kicking ass. Does he do this in satisfactory form? meh...kinda, I guess, why you asking me? no wait scratch that. So what we get is Adkins taking on Mexican drug dealers with haircuts of varying degrees of stupidity, and amazingly all of them know martial arts. The formula is simple enough, Adkins creeps around a bit, surprises a couple guys, gets into a rowdy mixed martial arts fest, eventually winning. Wash rinse and repeat this scenario all the way through the movie as he takes down the small team of bad guys. Even though the location changes from the great outdoors of California to within the confines of a small ranch, its all still the same. What's even more disappointing is the fact that the fights all look the same too, literately the same choreography for every bloody fight, same moves, same camera angles etc...

Its not all fisticuffs though, there is quite a bit of gun action thrown in there too. Alas that's even more ridiculous than the repetitive fights because you can clearly tell everyone is using blanks. Why you ask? well because at numerous times the characters cross paths and shoot at each other at near point blank range, yet everyone seemingly misses each other and there are no bullet holes or destruction. Quite often I was thinking to myself, why aren't you hit? how are you missing? this is like watching a glitch ridden game of Call of Duty. There is some car chase action too but that's pretty naff frankly, again you can clearly tell the vehicles are travelling quite slowly.

The movie really tries its best to be ultra cool and grown-up, but it fails miserably in my opinion. The bad guys role call sequence near the start was a hilariously bad idea for starters. Firstly who cares, we don't know these guys and you won't care about any of them further on down the line, they're all meat for Adkins to beat. Secondly why would we need this information, why do we need to know their stereotypically stupid names? like I said they're all mere fodder. Thirdly, it just looks so fucking stupid, each one looks towards the camera with a stern, I'm well 'ard glance. Stop it! you're all so tough and scary I'm starting to sweat through my pants.

But the most amusing and daft moment of all, the real clincher was at the very end. Adkins shaven headed anti-hero stands directly opposite the corrupt sheriff (Nick Chinlund), a shotgun and set of handcuffs lie before the sheriff. MacReady had given the sheriff an ultimatum, cuff yourself or go for the gun, your choice. What follows is the most dreadful laughable cloning or homage, of the classic finale scene in 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' between Eastwood, Wallach and Cleef. Its not even remotely intense, it doesn't have any of the scope and the two helpless females watching on from the sidelines makes it feel so hokey. Oh and I should mention that the beginning credits sequence actually has little snippets of the actual movie in it! Yeah so you're actually seeing key moments of action in the title sequence before seeing the film, great decision! A title sequence that harks back to Sergio Leone classics I might add. Adkins and director Florentine have definitely got a thing for Leone classics.

Yep so its another pile of crap from Adkins I'm afraid. Yes I'm sure if you enjoy his work then you'll enjoy this. Yes I realise he's making a certain type of movie that some people demand, and in that sense it delivers exactly what some people want. Yet despite all that, and the fact I am partial to a good fight/action romp, this simply looks and plays exactly like what it is...a cheap, lazy, dull, boring, pointless movie. Yes you can argue that Adkins is only doing what previous stars like JCVD did back in the day, but the difference in quality and the fact that it was more original back then, always trumps that call.

3.5/10