Written & Directed by: David Ayer
Cinematography: Salvatore Totino
Editor: Geoffrey O’Brien
Cast: Bobby Soto, Shia Lebouf, George Lopez, Cynthia Cardona, Jose Conejo Martin, Cheyenne Rae Hernandez, Cle Sloan, Elpida Carrillo, Lana Parilla, Neomi Gonzalez, Gabriela Flores
David Cuevas is a family man who works as a gangland tax collector for high ranking Los Angeles gang members. He makes collections across the city with his partner Creeper making sure people pay up or will see retaliation. An old threat returns to Los Angeles that puts everything David loves in harm’s way.
This film is very disappointing and it didn’t have to be. As the filM has some good elements the cinematography and the violence is over the top and brutal.
Though the story is typical and the characters are very thin and so is the story. They are more skit there to connect the things the film Seems More interested In The violence and more the machismo and rules of the streets.
Which at this point Writer-director David Ayer has made his career off of though on other projects the street code seemed more to go with the film. Here he more chooses to bathe the whole film in it. Even though it might not be as necessary except to tell a kind of gangster tale told more by the characters who are enforcers more than the boss.
It gives Shia Lebouf a role to play vicious and threatening as he does come off as imposing but it also feels very punched up. As we see how intense he is and even how threatening he is a bit we rarely see his character actually be violent and dangerous. It also feels like he is more chewing the props in as far as he calls attention to himself in the movie.
There is a scene with him dragging a body and him in a hazmat suit that takes place in the ost and is supposed to show how much of a butcher and mad man he is. We only see him dragging a body and smoking afterward. It seems there for no real reason or at least makes no real impact maybe if it was an imitation or done on the day’s events it would have made one.
It boils down to where is this character is supposed to be memorable if not iconic but we never see him actually do what seems promised eventually. So that there is all this build-up and no real follow through a tease. Which is how this movie also comes off.
He seems to be maybe a David Ayer stand in as a caucasian who grew up around people of color and was taken in by them so he comes across as one of them and has similar characteristics. As David Ayer has said in the past he has. Though lebouf is not the stR of the movie and more comes across as a name star to put in the movie and help get funding. As it works he gets to stretch as an actor and only ends up being a smaller supporting role rather than the lead and it doesn’t rest on his shoulders. He is shocking at first int he roe bit settles Down.
The film Doesn’t offer anything you haven’t seen before. It does offer representation but unfortunately, all the characters are gangsters or work for them in an illegal manner. So there is very little positive here except that the lead character is religious and a man of god. So he does have a belief system that is practically spelled out in the beginning.
The film feels like a big waste of time. If it had been more structured or offered something different or original the film Might be worth it, but it is bathed in cliches and things we have seen way too much. The closest it gets to different is by having stand up comedian George Lopez play a dramatic role as a street boss.
The first half of the film plays more like a gangster tale the second half plays more like a revenge tale. Now if that is what you are looking for plain and simple this is the film For you. As this is David Ayer making. A smaller-scale project after SUICIDE SQUAD and BRIGHT. As this is more in the vein of HARSH TIMES. These are the films he seems to prefer to make. At least there aren’t as many cops as he usually has in his films usually. As this is a straight-up organized crime only.
Again do this offered something different this would be welcome but all this ends up being. Is an action gangster tale. Nothing more nothing less other than some credible cinematography and tough talk and brutal violence.
Either way somewhat entertaining as you watch though might have some problems
With it and once it is over quickly forgettable.