Somewhere in this movie is an interesting comment on these mindless revenge thrillers starring middle aged men rampaging through American or European cities, usually because a child was killed or abducted. I can see the germ of that idea. And it’s an idea I love. I want to see that movie.
However, this movie is stupid. It’s all kinds of stupid. Nobody behaves like normal people. Cage’s character completely changes when his daughter is killed. Danny Glover is the worst police officer of all time, apparently. (Especially in a smaller city, such as Mobile.)
The script is bad – things are assumed or not explained and other times Cage just screams his lines at people (or at nobody). In fact, this is among Cage’s most scenery-chewing performances. If you like watching Cage act crazy, there are some great moments in this film.
Everything else is revenge thriller cliches – there are mysteries that are explained away, there are doors knocked down and people killed for no apparent reason. (These guys are just terrible at getting information – they just kill everyone.) When somebody dies, nobody cares. (You know, unless the character is important.)
And all of that is to be expected. But the twist is so badly executed, I can’t even begin to put it in to words. It’s almost My Bloody Valentine 3D unbelievable. Like almost physically impossible. And, to believe it, we’re supposed to believe this is the most incompetent police force in the United States. And that’s what makes this movie so fucking terrible. The twist, which is terrible, reveals the main idea, that this is a film (at least in theory) critical of the revenge thriller it is aping. But the execution is so bad that whatever little intelligent thought you might have gotten from this idea – the idea that the protagonist of the revenge movie is a danger to society rather than some kind of avenging angel – is buried under inane plotting, ridiculous dialogue, cliche direction and some terrible characterizations.