Gary Dourdan deserves higher. The previous “CSI” star, additionally recognized for “Alien: Resurrection,” has a powerful display screen presence that implies one thing deeper beneath the floor. Sadly, his star flip within the abduction thriller “Redemption Day,” the characteristic debut of Moroccan producer Hicham Hajji, shouldn’t be the software to excavate that.
Though Hajji has assembled a powerful supporting solid, together with Andy Garcia, Martin Donovan, Ernie Hudson and Canadian actress Serinda Swan, the script, by Hajji, Sam Chouia and Lemore Syvan is dreadfully boring and underdeveloped, ridden with bland, limply delivered dialogue. There’s not a thrill to be discovered on this ostensible thriller, a rote kidnapping train taped along with digital blood spatter and an excessively dramatic rating, vaguely gesturing at international crises from 5 years in the past.
Dourdan is Brad Paxton, a former Marine haunted by nightmares of an assist mission gone awry in Syria. His spouse, Kate (Swan), is an archaeologist who has lately found an historic metropolis underneath the Moroccan desert she’s hoping will reveal essential discoveries in regards to the origins of human life. Brad encourages Kate to make the journey, however it’s not 24 hours earlier than he receives the decision that she’s been kidnapped by a French-Algerian terrorist impressed by ISIS, Jaafar El Hadi (Samy Naceri), after wandering throughout the Algerian border. For Brad, a hostage negotiator, which means it’s time to mount up and rescue his spouse.
It’s your primary save-the-girl story, with all of the obstacles and allies alongside the best way you would possibly count on, and the sheen of a cheapie direct-to-video motion flick. The fight sequences have all of the intrigue of watching another person play “Name of Responsibility”; the few struggle scenes are profoundly leaden. Even the tech dude who ought to be the comedian reduction by no means delivers any jokes (except for referring to himself as “XL Neo”). Plus, the wildly inconsistent manufacturing values from scene to scene make it really feel like two fully completely different motion pictures. There are computer-enhanced explosions, in addition to many, many, lengthy, in depth drone photographs of assorted automobiles driving throughout the desert, however the State of affairs Room seems like they stole a shot within the nook of a mid-budget lodge enterprise middle, after which doubled that for the press briefing set.
You retain ready for a twist that by no means comes, or one thing extra to be revealed (and there are alternatives), however no, it’s simply that simple the entire approach via. Kidnapping, ransom, movies of bloodied hostages quaking earlier than swords, Navy SEALS capturing the place up, and so forth. There’s some opaque dialogue in regards to the affect of the oil foyer on the rescue, because the cigar-chomping American ambassador (Garcia) and a sniveling diplomat of kinds (Donovan) hesitate to behave as a result of it would assist some sort of oil deal. It’s by no means fairly defined, regardless of opening title playing cards proclaiming the ability and significance of oil, and an inexplicable eleventh hour look from a Foghorn Leghorn-accented oil lobbyist in full Colonel Sanders get-up who confirms their undue affect.
It’s simple to harp on the manufacturing points that plague “Redemption Day” as a result of there’s not a lot else to consider with a narrative this flat. There are not any character arcs for these heroes. They act as you count on them to, all whereas questioning if their vital private progress occurred earlier than the occasions depicted within the movie. Even the title is confounding: “Redemption Day”? For who? For what? These are the existential questions you could be asking your self about this movie because the credit roll.
“Redemption Day” presently is in theaters and will likely be on digital and on demand Jan. 12.
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