Down and Dangerous (2013) Poster

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It's dangerous to watch this ...
Peter Pluymers16 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
You can classify D & D safely between Dante 's Peak , The Perfect Storm , The Impossible , The Day After Tomorrow and Twister. So it's a disaster movie ! The action is a disaster . The script is a disaster . And the performances are even a bigger disaster . Don't let yourself be fooled by the trailer, because it looks flashy and slick . There are a few slogans fired at you that sound promising. As there are : "Down and Dangerous looks like the sh*t" , "One bad mother of a movie" and "This is gonna be a bad film ." That's almost correct. I see it more as "Down and Dangerous looks like sh*t" , " One motherf*cking bad movie" and "This is gonna be a very sad movie ." The action is weak and boring . A series of fist fights . Ah yes, because Paul ( John T. Woods ) handles a golden rule, namely, that he never uses any firearms , but rather his fists ( even after it was severely beaten with a heavy hammer ) . Even if he has a gun in his hands , he ostentatiously takes the bullets out and throws himself in a man to man fight with bare hands . The excellent shooting part is performed by Henry ( Ross Marquand ). Apparently, a DEA agent who has received a medal for some heroic deed . Now he clearly didn't get that medal for his shooting talent cause he really sucks at that. I've never seen such bad aiming in my life before .

The script is confusing and illogical . The film seems to lead somewhere but I don't have a clue where it tries to lead to. Obviously it's a low-budget film sponsored by family and admirers. The images are sometimes good but the execution is downright lousy. Hopefully this is not a sign of how future "independent" movies are going to look like. The weakest link for me was Paulie Rojas . A wonderful appearance with those Bambi-eyes that look at you in a tempting way. Besides the fact that she has an anorexic appearance, her acting is just awful. Completely amateurish and her dialogues sound as if she's constantly aided by a prompter. The scene where she explains the complete procedure of producing drugs, looks so incredibly unreal. It's like she is just reading it directly from a paper. If I was the guy who was selling the drugs , I had her executed on the spot. The (obviously predictable) love affair that she restarts with Paul has absolutely no meaningful contribution to the film and feels so contrived and numb. There's more emotion in a jar of pudding than these brief romantic moments that are used to fill up the movie. And don't get me started about that terribly heavy Mexican accent . The would-be Mexican drug lord Rafael Garza is also a joke . He runs a family business with incredibly stupid relatives. He tries to keep up the image of being a tough and violent gangster. But when the suitcase with his precious drugs ends up in the pool , he jumps after it as a toddler. A tough gangster would have kicked that girls ass into the water to retrieve the suitcase, I guess.

Anyway , a terribly bad movie and painful to watch. Keep a far distance from this one. You have been warned !
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Where are the rave reviews coming from?
Nzugu Hoffman25 December 2013
I viewed Down and Dangerous because it had IMDb rating of 7.3 at the time. I couldn't watch it for more than 15 minutes but that was more than enough to see it's just bad. It has nothing to do with, as another reviewer put it, inability to "root for someone poisoning people". I don't have a problem rooting for Walter White, nor will the audience have such a problem once Mr. Nice and Marching Powder are released as movies. Who says movies have to be "moral" or teaching us a lesson? More than anything movies should be interesting and fun and DAND just doesn't deliver. Everything about it is third rate, the script, the cast, the acting, it's actually painful to watch. I'd rather watch 90 minutes of CCTV footage from my parking lot than this.
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Great Trailer. So So Movie
Anthoni Styvens (Bwcfilms)28 December 2013
Let me start off by saying that I'm an independent film maker myself. I commend anyone with enough heart to make a movie, but now let's get down to business. 1st off, the trailer was amazing, so much so that it made me download and watch it. But once I started watching, I couldn't get pass the emotionless acting from the star of the film. Every time he opened his mouth, he made me more and more realize I was watching a low budget indie film.

But I doesn't stop there. Onto the supporting cast!! The female love interest was awful!!!!! with that silly broken English/Spanish accent..was it necessary? and then the cheesy Mexican drug lord character...come on! But listen, I'm not really here to bash a good attempt. I'm just here to give an honest review. So if you're here to see a good indie film, look again. At best you'll enjoy a few good moments.

So i'll give them an A+ for effort and a D for execution.
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My cat was sick
kkmcclean14 January 2014
Oh yes,Im about to waste even more time in giving it as it is!

Please watch it and understand how utterly pointless 5/6ths of this film was.Eh,no please don't waste precious time on this like me.The opening credits were very professional,then we are led to believe that this hero,despot,renegade,whatever you wish,hates guns and would rather 'bare knuckle up' even when a gun is in his hands! The acting award goes to the boarder guard eating his sandwich. The chase in the car,,I fell off the settee laughing,firstly gets away from an inevitable death by bullets,then abandons car, no apparent reason, runs off through a carnival,ensuring its not so fast as to lose the bent Dea agent.Through some corridors then onto a roof,oh yes you guessed it,time for fists not guns again,because people get hurt no doubt! OK, Dea agent with gun gets overpowered...again...trips up off low level roof ,again not enough to really hurt him and our 'hero' goes of to rescue his girl! Enough words on this rubbish,I watched it so you don't have too,please take my advice and run away!
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Forgettable Mixed With Bad
Matt Leiberman16 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I wanted to like this movie. I backed it on Kickstarter and I've been rooting for it very much for almost two years. But there's no way around the fact that the movie is lame. Its a made-for-TV B- film.

I want to be as positive as I can be so I'm happy to say there are some good performances in the film. Judd Nelson isn't one of them. The guy really really hammy. While I was watching the film it was hard not to snicker and say "Hey, John Bender really did go to prison!" On further thought maybe he's more like a boring version of Jack Peretti in New Jack City. Irregardless, he's just a puffy stereotype of the roles he played in the 1980's.

John T. Woods and Ross Marquand deliver solid performances but Paulie Rojas is melodramatic as all get out. Some of the other actors, particularly the clichéd Mexican mobsters, are just cheeseball.

The script is really quite awful. I didn't want to say that. I really wanted to like it! I kept forcing myself to say "well, for a low budget movie this isn't so bad!" but that's just not true. The more I thought about the film the more cheesy it became. The name of the movie sounds like a John Candy movie, the tagline makes no sense and the entire film plays like a low rent version of Blow. The most important part is that there is simply no way to make a drug dealer a good guy. I wanted to believe otherwise but it don't work. I spoke with three other people who saw the film and they all said the same thing. How do you root for someone who poisons people?

Like I said, I wanted to believe in the film. I really did. I ignored the misleading trailer (which has quotes from its own backers and writers pretending they're critics. Thats just tacky), the cheeseball title and all the rest hoping there was a great movie buried in the tacky 80's packaging. But it isn't there. Its just very meh.
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Great indie filmmaking!
ftz80821 April 2013
I saw this film on opening night film at the Phoenix Film Festival. I had followed the film's progress via Facebook and Kickstarter. I was looking forward to seeing what a group of driven filmmakers could do with a budget just under $50,000, which is really NOTHING in the world of film budgets.

The film is good, really good for a standard feature length film. But as an independent level's truly great. Solid performances from the cast, high production value, great sound design, top level soundtrack and great twists and turns in a well written script, all contribute to make this a film that holds it's own against some of the uninspired flops that have recently graced the local multiplex.

The director, Zak Forsman, does a great job of making the world of drug running come to life. The script, which he also wrote, has some great "tricks of the trade" in the cocaine world and even some choice dialogue which was a refreshing change of pace from other films in this genre. It's well paced and has a really solid twist that I feel not many people will see coming. The film's lead, John T. Woods, holds the role with authority, making him much more than capable of being a Hollywood leading man, which I'm sure he's not far from becoming. One of the great standouts was the performance of Ross Marquand. His subtle rage and understated performance really shows he's got some chops.

Please understand that if we're comparing this film to say TRAFFIC or HEAT, even Forsman would say they've got a ways to go. But those films had almost unlimited resources at their disposal. Give Forsman the right budget and a few more stars and I'd say watch out folks...that's a film I'd definitely go see.
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A Good Film for a Pleasant Evening
niutta-enrico13 February 2014
A honest film, catching and entertaining, made with a low budget. Not the most original movie you can imagine but surely not the worst. You can easily love the main character and enjoy the story.

'I do have a very healthy disrespect for the law' and 'A smuggler bleeds like anybody else… we just get more chances to prove it' sounded as good lines to me.

So even if I would not suggest to take it with you as your only movie on a lonely island I'd say that is good enough for a pleasant watching on a lonely evening.

I gave a quick look to the other reviews. Everybody seemed to put a little too much emphasis, If I'm allowed to say so, both in praising and in despising it and I can't understand why.
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Accomplished. Intelligent. Bold.
reginaszymczak25 April 2013
I was lucky enough to catch this flick at one of its sold-out showings at the Phoenix Film Festival. Let me start by saying that at these festivals it seems that there is a natural inclination, in shorts AND features, to be too charming and precious. Not to negate those accomplishments or stories but I have to applaud these specific filmmakers for boldly taking the independent film path less traveled: an Action film... a Crime Thriller... a modern Gangster Film... it hits a lot of genres. Genres that are all too often overlooked on the independent level. Knowing the low-ish budget origin and how it was turned into something appearing to have the production value of more than twice that is nothing short of crafty movie magic.

As the story begins, we meet Paul (played by a wonderfully understated John T. Woods), an independent cocaine smuggler who seems to have all of his ducks in a row. When associates in his world are being picked off, he is forced to detour his carefully crafted life in lieu of tracking down the culprit(s) as to possibly stop his own, impending murder.

Instead of giving away too many plot details I would just like to state that this flick has all the necessary ingredients of a classic Crime Thriller with a sharp and contemporary edge. Music by Deklun, a Portland artist, gives the story a thumping heartbeat in all the right places; enhancing the story's ebbs and flows instead of distracting us. From the color palate to the locations, the eye for detail, and wonderfully guided performances, Down and Dangerous will prove to be a platform or jumping off point for this team as the end product over-delivers to the highest degree. I can't wait to see what they'll be capable of with more resources and a bigger budget.
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Very, very good Indie crime film
bob-larrance23 December 2013
For an independent that probably was made for next to nothing the best description of Down and Dangerous is 'wow'. I won't build it up by trashing contemporary films, those made with traditional budgets and known actors, that isn't necessary. But, I will compare Director Zak Forsman's excellent effort to work by a young Michael Mann (Thief) or that of a mature Taylor Hackford (Parker). All things considered, it is certainly in that class of fine cinema.

Almost all of the performances are first rate, strong and believable. In particular, John Woods and Ross Marquand are fantastic in all ways, both bringing multiple dimensions to their roles from the first moment either appears on the screen.

Forsman's script is rich yet compact with little time wasted on moments that don't advance the story. He adds many small twists that not only are intriguing but also reveal key elements of each character as they are introduced in the body of the story. I think most viewers will be drawn to his movie from the very beginning and sustain strong interest throughout as the story moves fluidly and makes them interested in learning more.

There are several scenes, and moments in scenes that will simply grab you. If you like movies like I do then when you encounter what I am talking about not only will you know but you will find the movie has moved you a bit the way only a good movie can. In addition, the score in the aforementioned scenes will feel almost perfect to you. I intend to hunt down the soundtrack, and you will probably find yourself thinking the same.

So often Indy films are strong in a few areas, weak in others, and we make excuses because of budgets or unknown players or first time directors. None of that is necessary with Down and Dangerous. While I noticed two or three scenes that could have been done better and one of the lead performances (Rojas) that I would have recast such negatives aren't worth more than passing mention. I rated the movie 7 on IMDb and I am a very picky man, with 7 a high mark for me. This is truly the sort of movie that leaves you with the feeling you have really discovered something good, something you need to share with others. Thus, this review.
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One of the Best Independent Films of the Year
lucius_42023 December 2013
I went into the viewing not sure what to expect from the other reviews here, but whenever I see a movie that is written and directed by the same guy it sparks my interest so I gave it a chance and was very pleasantly surprised at how very good it is. Definitely the trailer helped to suck me in and I was very glad that the music from the trailer was actually in the movie as well. There have been some big budget films lately that had a great song on the trailer but then that music was nowhere to be found in the movie itself. The music is amazingly good futuristic techno, comforting when it needs to be and exciting when appropriate, reminds me of Daft Punk's soundtrack for the Tron: Legacy movie. If you want to actually compare this to million dollar budget movies, I think this could give some of them a run for their money. I was definitely far more entertained by this film than I was when I watched Ridley Scott's horrendous movie "The Counselor" which I was completely bored by. That film had great actors but the writing was very dull and did not appeal to my need for action. The very short sequences of action in that were designed to cater to our sadistic nature, which has shock value but is poor in taste, whereas in Down and Dangerous the excitement is built by the music and very good writing. I could not say enough about the writing, it was brilliant.

It is true there weren't very many conversations with the main character's friend who sits in jail but they're both smart guys, there isn't too much they need to say to each other even though I think I would have tried to build up the background to their relationship a little bit more since there are some unanswered questions left hanging in the air. Who is this guy and what is their connection to each other if they are both independent of anyone? It is a minor oversight that is insignificant compared to the bigger picture. The directing was good (although there was one sleeper hold sequence that looked just a few seconds too short to be believable, primarily everything was impeccably done) and the actors all did their jobs quite well. There were a few scenes where it seemed as though they were shooting on a digital camera that isn't as expensive as the super fancy ones, just slightly grainy, but it is so nice to watch a movie that is not completely done on green screens and all you ever see for two hours is the actors' faces. It feels more real when they are actually shooting video on a street or in a hotel. I saw another reviewer say they had a difficult time rooting for the anti-hero because he was in their eyes "poisoning people" but as for me, being a thinking person I liked the main character because he was a thinking person's anti-hero and his way of beating the bad guys is to outwit them using his smarts which he does so well that I was in tears at the end not because the acting was good, which it was, but because the writing was so great. It was like feeding a fresh bloody carcass to a ravenous wolf that hungers for better screen writing in movies than the romantic comedy type movies that have infected and destroyed the action genre I used to love so much. Okay, so the guy smuggled some coke across the border, okay he smuggled a lot of coke, but he never sold it to little kids and he wasn't like Rambo blowing apart the arms and legs of a hundred guys with a machine gun feeding our sadistic side, in fact the hero of this movie doesn't like to use guns on people at all ever even though he will shoot some drugs if he is forced to showing again his humanity and that he cares more for the girl than the drugs.

This movie really does fit right in with all the big Hollywood movies because they have something in common. In classical theatre, there is always a tragic ending, some moral or fate that can't be escaped. However the majority of movies these days all have a happy ending where the guy gets the girl the bad guys lose and they get to keep the money and live happily ever after the end. Of course I'm a romantic so I love the happy ever after stuff too even though that wars against my purist side that demands every hero should die at the end of the film or at least end up broke. It is true though that stranger tales have been made in real life where people steal huge sums of money and commit genocide and get away with it. Overall I think this movie was really very good and I will recommend it to my friends and most likely watch it again. I will also be looking for the soundtrack which I loved.
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