Boss Level Review

Frank Grillo is entertaining in this enjoyable action thriller

Rony Patra -

Boss Level Review
Platform
Hulu
Platform Icons Click To Stream
Format
Original Movie Review
Movie Rated
18+
Genre
Action,THRILLER
Language
English

What is the story about?

Roy Pulver, an alcoholic ex-soldier, finds himself stuck in a time loop, where he lives out the same day over and over again, fighting assassins and getting killed in the process. He realizes that his predicament is linked to a secret programme headed by the shadowy Col. Clive Ventor, where his ex-wife Jemma works. Can Roy try and get out of his predicament?

Analysis

Movies where characters are stuck in a time loop seem to be all the rage during this lockdown, but Boss Level seems to be the first one this season that actually makes the scenario entertaining as an action thriller. The action sequences are enjoyable, but you could have honestly picked them out of any of the John Wick films. This film is full of assassins of various ethnicities that almost borders on caricaturish. There’s also a megalomaniac villain who spouts predatory wisdom before dispatching his enemies, and a device that plays around time—this last line suspiciously reminds you of the basic premise of Rakesh Roshan’s Krrish. At one point, a character also makes a reference to Roy’s abilities and compares him to Taken’s Liam Neeson. You don’t need to roll your eyes any further, because this movie packs in sequences and references that seem generic in the action thriller genre.

 

Here’s the best part about this film—it knows it has borrowed liberally from everywhere, and it chooses to have fun and even subvert the tropes. The first ten minutes of the film are a hoot, where Roy, through his weary body language, manages to convey the dread of living out another day, even as he repeatedly fights and get killed over and over again. Writer-director Joe Carnahan, along with co-writer Eddie Borey, revels in the goofiness of the entire premise that borders on campy. There’s a certain fun in watching the myriad ways in which Roy attempts to dodge his assassins, and gets dispatched himself. This approach has its limitations too, because sometimes you wish the story would progress faster, but this film provides a lot of cheap thrills if you can keep your patience intact.

Performances

Frank Grillo is enjoyable to watch as Roy, whether in his initial alcohol-fuelled avatar, or as a mean killing machine. Mel Gibson plays Clive Ventor with great antagonistic relish, while Naomi Watts is decent as Jemma. Michelle Yeoh excels in a cameo as Chinese swordfighter Dai Feng.

Music & Other Departments

Clinton Shorter’s score is good. Juanmi Azpiroz’s camerawork is really fluid, especially during the kinetic action sequences.

Highlights

The opening sequence, where Roy discusses over a voiceover about the various assassins he is going to encounter, is a work of genius. Also, the sequence where Dai Feng, through the time loop, keeps teaching Roy how to fight with a sword, is really funny.

Drawbacks

The middle portions drag a bit. Even though action sequences are enjoyable, watching them play out in the exact same sequence repeatedly can be a drag at times.

Did I enjoy it?

Hell yes.

Do I recommend it?

This is a decent potboiler, and fun to watch if you’re an action aficionado.


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