** My A-B Movie stands for a B-Movie with A-List actors in it, my argument is that these films are destined for foreign markets, where names more than plots matter**
Here is the impressive roster:
- Arnold Schwarzenegger [role: John ‘Breacher’ Wharton – elite DEA Special Op. leader]
- Sam Worthington [James ‘Monster’ Murray -member]
- Joe Manganiello [Joe ‘Grinder’ Phillips-member]
- Terrence Howard [Julius ‘Sugar’ Edmonds -member]
In all fairness, the film was not half bad, although, certainly, there were some “seriously!” moments. So you knew the production value was not top-notch. Some of the visual effects (gruesome) were not even up to TV crimes series standard, and most of the time, the lighting was so bad, it took a while to figure out what you were looking at… was that a leg? Hence, this was not a big budget film, obviously, and so were the other A-B Movies I reviewed before.
Opening scene, Wharton is deep in his sorrow watching a video of a woman tied up and being tortured…
Wharton is the leader of a Special Op. in DEA,where his team penetrated Mexican’s cartels to get information to shut down operations state-side. In the last op, a million dollar was lost, and the DEA’s internal investigators allege the team is hiding the money. The team stays muted, and the II has no evidences to prosecute them, the team is re-instated.
They celebrate, and they party hard.
In the middle of the night, drunken Tom ‘Pyro’ Roberts(Max Martini)‘s trailer is stuck in the middle of a railroad track, while he is taking a leak into the sink. Bright light shinning into the cab, blinding him for a second, and quickly he realizes there is only one ending to his life story.
This, of course, triggers a domino effect, and one by one Wharton’s team member is taken down (predictably, who died first was based on the actor’s celebrity status). The local police is investigating the accidents/homicides, the lead investigator is Caroline(Olivia Williams). Caroline quickly knows that she is dealing with a group of egomaniacs, no kidding, they were undercover and living with some of the most dangerous people on earth…and were alive and successful with their mission.
The film essentially boils down to whodunit? The Cartels? the Agency? One of them?
As expected as well, there was a love scene that was the turning point making this film as corny as hell. Not so expected was that there were two endings to this film, one was 10 minutes ahead of the other. In other words, if it ended 10 minutes earlier, it would have been a good ending. However, we were given a last act that tied all the way back to the first scene, that involved The Machine in The Terminator(1984) , so to speak. I wonder who asked the director to put that sequence in, eh!
Worthington was totally unrecognizable at first, sure gradually you would, but throughout I still had to remind myself that that was Worthington!
Worthwhile to mention there were two female actors taking on couple of major roles: Williams, the detective, and Mireille Enos was Lizzy Murray, another member of Wharton’s team, stereotypically she was triple badass among the other macho guys(Enos was Gerry(Brad Pitt)’s wife in World War Z (2013)).
SKIP…unless you are fan of one or more actors