That totally came out of left-field. Trashed The Raid+John Wick(1&2)+The Stranger+Miami Vice+The Matrix+Léon/The Professional+Die Hard and every other action film put out on the last 10 years (action-wise). Featuring the Mother of "Imma-get-payback-cos-am-about-to-die-and-will-kill-E V E R Y O N E-on-my-way-up-til-I-meet-da-boss ["Fish don't like you"]. Rutger Hauer still looks like a scary máfáca. Surprise surprise.
Director Brian Smrz served on the stunt team or second unit of most of John Woo's Hollywood films, including "Broken Arrow" and "Face/Off," and it shows in his kinetic approach to action. Sure, the CG blood detracts at times, but there is an undeniable physicality to Smrz's sequences: scenery breaks apart from gunfire, glass crunches underfoot, bodies soar through the air. This is about as good as DTV action gets.
Movies about hit men on their way to redemption are a dime a dozen these days but this one while formulaic manages to thouroughly entertain. Hawke is compelling as always and the supporting cast is alright. Both writing and direction is pretty decent but could be a whole lot better. It feels like an action flick from the 90´s in a way which made me feel a bit nostalgic and that is probably why I enjoyed it.
Smrz's action sequences may lack in tension and the spatial dynamics of Johnnie To, but these set pieces are more adrenaline pumping, well distributed, and varied, than say, John Wick's repetitive, video-gamey style. It’s akin to Van Damme's sci-fi/action films mixed with the kinetic-action of John Woo's Face-Off. Certainly not masterful, but is much better than the shit that passes for mainstream popcorn nowadays.