Director: Lin Oeding
Starring: Jason Momoa,Stephen Lang, Zahn McClarnon,Jill Wagner, Brendan Fletcher, Sasha Rossof, Garret Dillahunt. USA/Canada. 1h 39m
After the massive successes of his many roles as a hero, marvel super or otherwise, it’s not strange to see Jason Momoa being brave in a range of other roles, his name will attract an audience no matter what he does now and despite being typecast this movie had the right name but it’s a bit of a dumb flop of a film but we get to see Momoa running around in the snow chucking axe’s at people, so it’s not a total loss.
Dressed in everyday clothes for a change and without extra powers, Joe the logger (Momoa) leads are pretty normal loving life with his wife Stephanie (Wagner), adorable daughter (Rossof) and damaged and vulnerable father Linden (Lang). The film starts off warm and inviting enough, it just about gets to the point of Disney happiness when the script takes a sudden and strange turn, unbeknownst to Joe, his best buddy at work Weston (Fletcher) is using the work trucks to transport drugs with his clueless accomplice, after they crash the truck and hide the drugs in Joe’s family cabin it spurs on the demented bad guy Kassen (Dillahunt) out to the cabin to collect his drugs and after a cafe scene where he beats a man half to death we’re supposed to believe that he’s an all round very bad man
Joe is in deep emotional waters with his father, who’s experiencing some memory issues and getting himself into a scuffle where he mistakes a woman for his late wife and a massive bar fight breaks out, Joe’s approach is to take him out to the family cabin to discuss the possibility of putting him in a home, just in time to get caught up with the drug barons collection for his wears.
Once the men reach the cabin they start to bed in when they realise that Stephanie has hitched a ride in the back of the truck.. this is when the film goes into full James Bond mode, Joe’s father manages to hold on to his faculties long enough to take out a couple of guys sniper style while Joe distracts the bad guys and heads out on a sled with his daughter who’s tasked to call for help while daddy sorts out all the bad guys.
There’s not real hint at a potential history of killing in Joes life, but he takes to the wilderness and slaughtering bad guys without much pause for thought and with some ease, director Lin Oeding’s stunt background serves the film well, between his talent and Momoa’s physical abilities they manage to deliver some intense action scenes without a lot of green screen, effects or crazy jumpy editing, making them more believable but slower. But the star of the show is definitely Lang, who superbly handles his role with considerable emotional and physical demands.
It’s more demanding than a snowball fight, there are some technical scenes, lots of action and brutal killings, but the tension bursts and the dialogue is awful. There are so many occasions where the film could have easily ended several times before the bizarre clif hanger ending. Dillahunt played an amazing badass in the remake of Last House on the Left
R: Osterman Weekend (1983)
L: Cabin in the woods, Families that slay together stay together
5s: Stephen Lang, Jason Momoa