Nick Hume is a mild-mannered family man. By day he is an insurance risk assessor, his life is consumed with probabilities, equations and risk factors – a control freak by nature, he likes his life orderly, running like clockwork. He lacks somewhat in the emotional department, but maybe that’s why he prefers his first son, calculated and sporty, his destiny is assured in the hockey hall of fame. Son number two is a little too emotional, a little too much like his mum.
So it should come as no surprise when son number one is the one killed in a random gang initiation test. As dad witnesses, but is powerless to stop it, something snaps inside his head. Something that was keeping a caged animal at bay.
The animal is further encourage to come out of hiding by the inability of the justice system to give the killer a decent sentence.
Not to worry, mild-mannered Nick as a plan forming in his head.
Director James Wan will be a name only recognisable to fans of the blood soaked Saw series, and utalising Brian Garfield’s (Death Wish) novel as the basis for a story of revenge, no one should be surprised that this is an R18 rated, visually angry film.
Clichéd and suffering a number of gaping plot holes, Wan does an admirable job with the script, appealing to the viewers base instincts, as he turns Nick into a righteous vigilante, out for justice.
The problem with justice as Nick soon finds out, is everyone has his or her own version of justice, and it’s here that the biggest plot hole comes into play; just how did Nick become so good at using guns?
This problem is only a minor blip as the action flows like molten lava down a mountain, engulfing everyone in its path and serving up a refreshing story of revenge, which manages to avoid any Hollywood style happy ending and gives the viewer plenty to think about.
Kevin Bacon gives life to the character of Nick Hume through an impressive transformation. The growing intensity is visible throughout the movie and only goes to cement Bacon as one of the more interesting and capable actors in Hollywood today.
Wan’s style suits the story, though he does employ some distracting shots from time to time, but proves that he is more that a one man show. It’ll certainly be interesting to see what he tackles next.
A word of warning, with it’s R18 rating, this is not a movie for the timid.
Food for thought:
In the film’s climatic scene, Nick Hume is exhausted. He finds himself sitting down on a pew in the chapel of an abandoned mental hospital. The location seems to suggest a couple of things; the first being that lasting hope comes from above, not from revenge. The second being the abandoned metal hospital suggests that Nick has not only abandoned the person he was, but that he may have lost all hope along the way.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: R18 – Contains Graphic Violence & Offensive Language.
Duration: 101 mins.
Genre: Thriller, Crime, Action.
Director: James Wan.
Actors: Kevin Bacon, John Goodman, Kelly Preston, Matthew O’Leary, Leigh Whannell, Garrett Hedlund, Aisha Tyler, Jordan Garrett.
Release Date: Available now.