Director: Luke Goss
Starring: Luke Goss, Robert Davi, Luis Gatica .USA/Mexico. 1h 36m
Tell me if you’ve heard this before.. a man manages to remotely catch the violent abduction of his loved ones, but this man has a unique art of skills and some dodgy connections and he’ll do anything to get his loved ones back. It’s not another part of the Taken (2008) universe but a poor relation to the revenge genre, written and directed by Luke Goss.
I have to admit that it’s not a terrible attempt for a debut movie, but for someone who has a wealth of direct to DVD movies under his belt, along with co-starring in some major movies, I’d have expected a lot more from him being behind the camera. It would be a common assumption that something from Guillermo Del Toro would have worn off on him from their work together in both sequels to Hellboy (2004) and Blade (1998)??
While relaxing at home, a husband and father David (Goss) is witness to a thug beating and abducting his daughter and Olympian wife, while they are on holiday visiting family in Mexico. Unable to do anything via the video chat he books a flight and begins to hunt down the man who he saw in the live stream.
Unlike the highly action packed and yet slightly brainless Taken series, Goss is intent on trying to keep this film in some sort of semi-reality, there’s a intense chain smoking cop (Davi) on the case, who quickly realises that there’s little he can do to stop David from pursuing his own enquiries, he has to pull out all the stops to try and save the guilty party from this man on the warpath. We have to believe that this just happens, but I’m sure it doesn’t.
Unfortunately, there’s little to no tension in the movie, it feels totally B-Grade, but not in the way where you can laugh it off or excuse parts, it’s totally off kilter. The film just feels tired from the beginning and the luster falls off half way. Even while watching his wife and child being smacked around Goss’s acting is just tearless crying and an anguished face. It becomes painfully clear how the plot is going to unfold early on, and the only saving grace would have been for Goss to be the typical bad ass that he is in other films but he doesn’t take his shirt off and doesn’t perform any martial arts wackiness, so why is he here?
There are a few saving graces, a lengthy torture scenes a few twists in the plot to almost keep it fresh, and some interesting cinematography from Jorge Roman who paints emotions on the screen using colour and light but there’s also an annoying framing issue where most faces are cut off in 90% of the scenes, its all very narrowly framed.
Despite the drawbacks I’m still going to be totally dedicated to Goss’’s direct to DVD career and hopefully for his next film, hopefully any shortfalls from this one will be corrected, his heart seems to be in the right place, it just needs refining.
Related: Taken (2008) +
Spotlight: Luke Goss
Versus: Your Move Vs Taken