A fateful event leads to a job in the film business for top mixed-martial arts instructor Mike Terry. Though he refuses to participate in prize bouts, circumstances conspire to force him to consider entering such a competition.
Maverick Ranger Scott, known for ruthless, unorthodox methods but good results, is called in to help the secret service after a Washington big wig's brat daughter is abducted while studying at Harvard. Scott quickly realizes the protection detail's prime suspect, her boyfriend Michael Blake, is innocent and dumped her for being a drug-addicted slut. Next he traces her to a bordello, only to realize the captors didn't realize who she is but simply recruited her for the Middle Eastern white slavery market, and are likely to dispose of her rather than confront her father. But instead of the support expected in such high-profile cases, Scott gets orders to work in secret before the press catches on, and even finds his quest sabotaged. Written by
Excellent and intelligent. Not for Bruckheimer fans.
If you go by the plot, or by the casting (Val Kilmer's done his share of stupid actioners), you might well go into this expecting guns, explosions, and improbably ninja-esquire super-agents who parachute around and kill things with their teeth.
But this is Mamet, so what you get instead is a sort of weird emotional flatland for almost two hours of film, with Kilmer doing an excellent (Val KILMER? Whoa!) job of portraying what top-level soldier/drones are like: emotionally neutral, physically economical, and not always all that bright.
If you're looking for somebody hoisting a bazooka and wisecracking before he blows up the compound and saves the girl in the bikini while smashing the drug smuggling ring, this ain't your film, friend. It's very well written and extremely well acted, but also quiet, murky, and deliberately understated.
Don't expect whiz-bang excitement or crackerjack dialogue. If you can shelve that and put yourself in the frame of mind of a Kurosawa samurai movie, where contemplation and futility take equal time with action and excitement, you'll find this movie a lot more rewarding.
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