After Clay’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) unit is set up by this unknown Max (Jason Patric) for a mission that went bad in Bolivia they all want revenge and their lives back. In comes Aisha (Zoe Saldana) who has the money and the know-how to get them back on US soil and get them a shot and getting back at Max for what he did to them. So begins the bloody tale of detailed crazy team based revenge.
For anyone who’s played a decent round of Counter Strike or any other similar tactical team based first-person-shooter game with a bunch of your friends you know what you want from a film like this when it comes to its action sequences. You know that you’re not going to get anything too outlandish, like a Bourne kind of action-spy film. However, what you do expect is this constant sense of surprise at how each piece of this well oiled machine that is the close-knit unit comes together to complete each given objective. From how specific their roles are, to how much fun they always seem to be having doing the silliest to the dumbest/most dangerous things that you can imagine. You get a sense that these are all friends first and soldiers last.
From scene number one we’re introduced to these five characters. We’re given a sense of the comradery that exists between the five highly skilled players. Walking into this movie I was expecting a wonderful fun blend of The A-Team style action and Ocean’s Eleven style banter between all the characters. In terms of the action/mission sequences I was ok with them, even though they didn’t blow me away in any regard. I was pretty much bored to tears usually by these missions only because I was so uninterested in how clever Clay was, mainly because 90% of the plan was pretty lame. They have to steal a database of algorithms from a secure computer and so the plan is have tech support just wing it past every security and receptionist in the building.
In terms of the banter between the characters I was also unimpressed. The best characters had to be Jensen (Chris Evans) and Pooch (Columbus Short). The two of them seemed to have this unspoken understanding between each other while at the same time playing completely different roles in the team. Maybe it’s because of the team they were the only two which truly missed something/someone from their real lives back home, but they just had a sense of timing with each other. From lines like “it’s stupid question day” and “just got chopper jacked fellas” to Chris Evans singing one of the greatest Journey songs ever. Jeffrey Dean Morgan lacked all the charisma needed for the role of the leader of this team of supposed badasses. Roque (Idris Elba) and Cougar (Óscar Jaenada) also seemed to be completely wasted characters; I was just so annoyed by how cliché they decided to make Cougar, especially when they decided to finally give him his (basically) only line of the film.
The film isn’t anything special, but at the same time has enough sporadic moments of fun sprinkled in it to not be considered a complete crapfest of a film. Its offbeat pacing at time definitely makes it tough to enjoy, especially for a film of this kind.
IMDB says 7.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes says 43%
I say 5.0/10