Dir. Scott Mann
Runtime: 104 minutes
Starring: Dave Bautista, Pierce Brosnan, Ray Stevenson
This film was billed as being “Die Hard in a football stadium“. Written by The Lynch Brothers (David T. Lynch, Keith Lynch) and Jonathan Frank, and then directed by Scott Mann, this film came straight to me on Sky Cinema in 2018, the same day it received a short cinema run too.
Dave Bautista plays an ex-soldier/mercenary who’s visiting London to see the daughter of a friend he lost in war. He’s managed to get some tickets to a ‘Soccer‘ game. The match will see West Ham against the mighty Dynamo FC in the Euro cup semi-final (yeah, it’s a fictional film, I mean come on, West Ham in the European semi-final – LOL). Terrorists infiltrate the stadium in search of their supposed fallen revolutionary leader, who happens to be in attendance too (played by Pierce Brosnan with a terrible accent). From there on in, it’s “Die Hard” or “Sudden Impact” (apparently) in a football stadium, pitting Eastern European terrorists against an American one-man army, as Bautista tries to save the day, while not being a hero.
… or… here’s a summary in 180 characters of less…
American soldier attends the proper kind of football, only to find other kinds of entertainment/activity to get distracted with.
I was pleasantly surprised by this. It was a decent Action film which had some nice scenes and was paced pleasantly to ensure the audience had a decent ride. The film was never going to set the world on fire, but it was a film that I could disengage my brain and just let my eyes mong-out while watching it. Bautista delivers a decent performance, apart from when he’s seen running or crying (he’s a better tough guy than a he is an emotional flower) – but in general he’s got enough about him to star in a lot more films and have a similar career to other wrestlers turned actors. It was fun to see Brosnan with his terrible accent on the other side of the iron curtain opposed to the typical English James Bond he played for a few years.
There were a lot of tongue-in-cheek stereotyping on display throughout the film, but I just took them as the comedy injection rather than something to take offence at. Decent musical score, no doubt the soundtrack will sell well with it being modern and gritty. The plot and story is easy enough to follow; and the actions unfolds in a typically formulaic fashion. This is a decent enough film to watch on a weekend with a beer and nibbles – I’d say it falls into the “dad movie” category rather than being a family movie. Unfortunately it isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, as the box office grossing will attest to. This was considered a massive box office flop having been made for $20 million and only recouping $776k. Finances aside though, it was decent enough.
Easy enough to watch and harmless – “Die Hard” (1988) it is not though. Nothing for your brain to worry about so give it the night off. Fun and action – and of course a lot of fiction – casing point: West Ham in Europe?!
P.S. For any Marvel fans, it’s nice to see Drax in Sokovia after he missed out in Avengers 😀 The writers or directors must have been fans to use that famously fiction country.