John Travolta makes a pretty good tough guy! We've seen that in From Paris With Love already, but this Travolta: he's a bit different. It feels like he tries to play ordinary, yet doesn't quite make the cut. He is good, but Christopher Meloni does it even better, although he's not ordinary at all. Reminds a bit of that one guy in the Walking Dead, come to think of it...
The story is that of vengeance, and though I feel there are plenty of authenticity hiccups, too strong a father-daughter bond even after all he puts them through, too little processing of the grief, too little wrath considering the title, and too many moments of being held at gunpoint and turning things around - it's not bad. The action's solid. The cast is commendable. The storyline's straight-forward and easy to follow - though some would say that's a bad thing.
Being able to sum up the movie as simply as:
A man is out for justice after a group of corrupt police officers are unable to catch his wife's killer, might say something about what type of movie it is. The type with an under-developed script. And Travolta's character just happening to be a former special ops guy is a fortunate coincidence, as is his very helpful but very underappreciated friend.
I appreciate the little details that make this movie different from other movies like it, like how the good guys aren't ever really caught off guard even when they are, but at the same time it takes away the tension. At the end, when they're waltzing out of the hospital with ease, it's almost like comedy.
Whatever happened to the main character's profound sadness? Is he going to get rid of the tattoo now - or is he a man with a new mission? And couldn't it have ended with less cliche than a postcard? I'm not even going to hide these spoilers here. You'll expect them.
On the one hand I really liked this movie, but on the other I'm disappointed. If I summed it up with one line it'd be: just another action movie about revenge. And also one that for some reason makes me think of GTA. Some of the characters, maybe. The way they talk. It feels familiar, and that's not bad. Maybe it weighs over some of the disappointment.
rated 3/5: not bad