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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Movie Review: Mercenaries

If you had a chance to get your freedom back, would you take it? In August 2014, four women had a choice, stay in jail or risk their lives on a job for their freedom.

Directing this 89 minute action/adventure is Christopher Ray.

Atempting to blow up the screen is: Zoe Bell as Cassandra Clay, Vivica A. Fox as Raven, Kristanna Loken as Kat Morgan, Nicole Bilderback as Mei-Lin Fong, Tiffany Panhilason as Elise, Cynthia Rothrock as Mona, Gerald Webb as Bobby and Brigitte Nielsen as Ulrika.

Cassandra, Raven, Kat and Mei-Lin are four women that are currently locked away in a correctional facility. For one reason or another, each lady has done something to wind up in prison. Upside is, the same reason
these ladies have found themselves detained is the very reason they're important to agent Webb. A diplomat's daughter, Elise, has been taken hostage and there's not enough time to get a team together and infiltrate the prison she's being held at. If these four woman want get their old lives back then they're going to have to risk their lives and do a job for the government.

So The Asylum has another mockbuster winner for us. Truthfully, the only reason I caught this one was because of Cynthia Rothrock. Back in the day Rothrock was a martial arts movie badass. So when I saw her name in the credits I had to see if she could still kick ass and take names. Well... after watching the film still I don't know the answer to that question. The Rothrock parts consisted of: walked in, talked a bit, showed up and talked again later... and that was freaking it. I was a little disappointed by this... and also by the rest of the movie.

Edward DeRuiter wrote the story and the screenplay for this all female mercenary cast. Of course all of the females have a dark or troubled past, that makes them perfect for the mission ahead. The story isn't that bad, it falls into the average action style flick. You'll get some shoot outs, explosions and bad puns. I can't say this one really has anything special going on except it gives fans a chance to see veteran actresses Rothrock and Nielsen again.
                                                     

The pace of the playthrough stays steady but it had trouble holding my attention. There was no suspense to grab you, and a lot of the action scenes just make you want to look away.

As for the cast, stunt woman/actress, Bell is the best thing this film has going for it. Unfortunately, the script doesn't give her much chance to show she actually has talent. Next up you have Loken, now she's not the strongest actress, but is good and does better than the rest of the cast in this one. Fox however used to be a talented actress and I looked forward to her movies. That time has passed because lately her skills seem to be dwindling, which explains why she's landing in more and more of the same B grade films. Then there's Nielsen... Well, she was in the film, and if you've seen a movie with her in it, you know her level of "acting" abilities. Nothing has changed for her over the years. I would comment on Rothrock's acting, but she wasn't in it enough to gauge anything. Seriously, what was up with that? Cynthia-freak-ing-Rothrock! She could have been (fake) kicking ass through this whole film and helping make it better, but no.

The special and visual effects get the job done, but aren't the greatest I've ever seen. The shoot-outs looked bad due to the effects and really hurt the action scenes. Most of the sets looked good, then you get hit in the face with a really bad looking one. Alexander Yellen's work on cinematography seemed limited somehow. Everything was shot in very basic angles with little imagination or movement to add to the scene or help it any way.

Overall, this film really doesn't have anything to offer, even at a rental price. I would rather spend my time catching a few movies that do the cast some justice. Like Kill Bill (2003), Death Proof (2007) or even BloodRayne (2005). I will warn you, this movie is also known as Prison Raid, so don't be fooled. Now, I still believe an all female mercenary (Expendables) style flick would be awesome! Even if this film made the idea look bad.

It's rated UR (unrated) but has language and violence.

2 stars


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