6/10 Thankfully rebounding from the awful “6 Underground”, Michael Bay is back for some more Bayhem in a movie with an average script and some over the top moments but ends up being entertaining and rather impressive. There is a lot to unpack in a movie with a rather simple plot but we will get the negatives out of the way first. The biggest problem by far is the movie’s script. Besides the two leading men (Jake Gyllenhaal as Danny Sharp and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Will Sharp) and the supporting female protagonist (Eiza González as Cam Thompson), we get no character development for everyone else in movie. Even some of the character development we get for our three leading actors is rather thin. Our robbers commit a bank robbery yet for much of the robbery and afterwards, they don’t wear anything to cover their faces. This is incredibly stupid considering that even if they were to get away with all of the money, the authorities would know exactly who they are and where they live. Perhaps Danny Sharp could fly under the radar and live in hiding but Will Sharp has a wife and a kid so he would essentially have to abandon them or move them to another country to stay with them. The dumbest moment in the movie has police perusing the stolen ambulance with our main characters in it and closing in on them. When one of the men in charge of catching these criminals realizes that his comically large dog is in one of the cop cars in pursuit, he calls every cop car to back off of the ambulance instead of just the one cop car with his dog in it. Putting the mission to catch the bad guys in jeopardy and risking more innocent lives because he brought his dog to work (why he didn’t leave his pet at home like a normal human being is never explained) was criminally negligent and eye rollingly stupid. The movie also makes several references to “The Rock”, the 1996 film which Michael Bay also directed. Directors referencing their own films not only takes me out of the movie but feels self-indulgent and is the director patting themselves on their own back, which I can’t stand. Will Sharp is supposedly a Marine but the movie jumps back and forth about four different times between him being a Marine and him being a soldier. We see him in Army uniforms (what soldiers wear) but then he gets referred to as a Marine. Then Cam asks him if he was a soldier and he says “yes” even though any Marine would say no, seeing as how there is a big difference. Then he gets referred to as a Marine again and the nonsensical back and forth continues. It is such a simple issue to fix and Bay should especially know better seeing as how the military is used in most of his movies. In addition to the script there are some other mild problems. Both the soundtrack and score didn’t do much to impress me overall as they were largely forgettable. Although I know it is a stylistic choice from Bay, having cameras whirling around in circles at breakneck speeds for a moment involving two men just talking was distracting and style over substance. Bay utilizing certain camera moves and frantic editing during some action scenes can work but during slower, dialogue driven moments just makes it seem like Bay has ADD and believes everyone in the audience does too. As for what works, I will say that it is pretty impressive to stretch a bank robbery into a car chase for over two hours. While I did feel some of the running time should have been cut, the fact that Bay is able to sustain tension and action for so long with a single car chase was a great accomplishment. While some of the movie is obviously over the top and unrealistic, Bay does know how to do action better than most directors and his movies do look incredible. The explosions, car crashes and shoot outs were definitely entertaining and fun to witness. The acting from our three leads is well done with Gyllenhaal being unhinged, Abdul-Mateen II being the grounded man pushed to his limits to help his family and González stuck in the cross fire while just trying to do her job and stay alive. One continuous car chase would be boring and repetitive but the movie is able to add many additional layers to spice things up. In addition to the main car chase we get a life or death surgery, LA gang warfare and the police and feds trying to bring it all to an end. I didn’t realize until after seeing this movie that it is actually an American remake of a 2005 film from Denmark with the same title. I always watch original films before I see their remakes to compare the two but since I didn’t know the original existed, I unfortunately can’t compare the two, which often plays into how I score/rate films. Either way, the script definitely falls short and a good 20 minutes should have been trimmed from the running time but the impressive action (made all the more impressive that this was filmed during the peak of the China Virus) and strong performances make this a movie worth renting if you keep your expectations in check.

#AmbuLaLaLance / #LookingSharpAndLookingForSharp / #DannyDarko / #BackseatSurvivor / #TheVetDown / #BabyDriver2

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s