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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.
*** This review may contain 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 !
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.
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!
All the people reviewing it highly seem to do so because "it is an
independent film" or "what they did with such a low budget"...
When a movie makes me feel bad for sitting there watching it, I'm going to log in and post a review by golly. It doesn't matter how much I just paid for a ticket or a rental fee, I would still get up and walk out. I stuck with it solely because I kept thinking, "with the reviews it has on IMDb, this must just be a bad part and it can't all be bad..." The closer it got to the end of the show, the more I couldn't wait for it to be over. It's that bad.
The chase scenes are not exciting, they give the feeling of driving under the speed limit and practically use turn signals -- "um, is he being chased or looking for a parking spot?".
The stereotypical beautiful woman stuck with the evil drug lord is beautiful, thus the extra star for the movie. But she confusingly ends up without being stereotypically treated by her evil drug lord and they appear together time and time again looking like nothing just happened to their relationship.
There are famous continuity errors that many people don't notice because the movie is keeping them immersed. When a movie distances me so much as I'm trying to watch it that I find I'm paying more attention to its writing, directing, editing, etc, I'm afraid it has failed as entertainment.
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.
Dear Zak Forsman
Your movie in the beginning gave me some kind of excitement that I haven't felt in a long time. Where mans movie is kind of revive in your trailer. I watch the film, and I read everybody else comments of your movie, and all I got to say is screw them. I would like to see those who thought your film suck, make something visually. I think you put as much you can to make this film awesome; though visually, the making of the film, and your two actor who I felt worthy on the acting John T. Woods, and Ross Marquand is what really made the film. I'm sorry but your actress that looks Mexican just didn't do justice on the accent, and that's including the drug-lord. Overall, I would like to know more of this character in the future, maybe a trilogy? Why not, I thought Mr. Woods kick ass.
Love the movie Benny.
There are thing in life where if you know, you know. Those that
'know'in this case will understand the influences and subtle homages as
well as appreciate the originality of 'Down and Dangerous'. For me I
see a lot of Michael Mann here but also comparisons with John Woo's
early Hong Kong cinema. Brooding characters, a single frame being able
to capture so much emotion and resonance. In one scene a drug deal is
being discussed, the camera moves to a close up of one of the
characters and immediately I see a scene in 'Heat' where Waingrow is
brought in to assist Van Sant. This is not a bad thing.
Where 'Down and Dangerous' shines is being respectful of it's influences but also passionately original in it's execution and spirit.
One late night a few weeks ago I was on my own, laptop perched on the duvet and wondering what on earth I could do to pass a couple of hours of my time. 'Down...' had just come into iTunes and after a quick Google search I was hesistant - a film funded on Kickstarter? But nonetheless the trailer had me intrigued.
Just over 1.5 hours later I was buzzing after being totally engrossed in this film. It's not a brilliant low budget kickstarter funded film, it's a brilliant and inspired feature film.
The characters are brilliant - the director does a fantastic job of getting all the nuances right. John T Woods has a real charm about him and turns in a memorable performance here - I expect this will lead to a great career. He is very watchable.
The atmosphere, the music, the characters - I loved all of it. It reminded me of so many of my favourite films but also was unique. It's a classic!
*** This review may contain 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.
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 film...it'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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