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STUDIO: First Look Pictures
RUNNING TIME: 78 min
It’s The Crow meets Walking Tall
Director: Jeff and Josh Crook
Writer: Jeff and Josh Crook
Cinematographer: John Ashmore
Cast: Nicholas Gonzalez (Spun), Mario Cimarro (Romeo + Juliet), Oleg Taktarov (National Treasure), Vitali Baganov (Pieces of April), Ricardo Chavira (Desperate Housewives), Delilah Cotto (Empire)
Trane is in Afghanistan when he learns his wife and child were murdered. He returns home to find the men responsible and seek vengeance
Rockaway wanted to be a good revenge tale but fell short on every level. The film started out in Afghanistan as Trane and his fellow soldiers played a game of football. Quickly, he learns that his family was killed back home and is allowed a leave. When he returns home, he finds that his house is overrun with prostitutes and starts to plan his revenge. While in Afghanistan, he asks one of his friends if it is “wrong to pray for revenge.” His friend tells him the Taliban does it all day long. That is a good example of the lack of subtlety that this script displays.
When he returns home, he kills two thugs outside his apartment and when more are sent to kill him, he steals their car and goes straight to their boss, JuJu. He is then taken to the head of the Russian mafia, who he offers heroin to. He soon slips into the business, and sets up a double cross to turn everyone against each other. The entire purpose is to take down everyone who was responsible for his family’s murder.
I will start with the acting. The lead actor, Nicholas Gonzalez, has a void where his talent should be and dooms the movie from the start. Neither of the actors who play the bad guys (Mario Cimarro and Oleg Taktarov) are any better. The cinematography is just horrid, the director seeming to want to make the film look flashy to cover up the shallow script. The hero returns from fighting in a war to find corruption overflowing in his home town. His family has been murdered and he seeks vengeance on everyone involved. There is nothing here you have not seen before, better, and everything is executed poorly on every level.
To give an example of my distaste for this script, there is a point where two bad cops are sent to kill Trane. They have been ordered to find out where he is hiding the heroin he keeps talking about before they kill him. They ask him where the smack is and he expresses concern that they will kill him after he reveals its location. The bad cops tell him not to worry. Their exact words are “we’re cops, we won’t kill you. Where’s the smack?” There is no subtlety whatsoever in this picture.
The film is short, and that is one of the best things I can say about it. It seems to be more of a television pilot than a feature film. If you want to see a good vengeance story, watch Walking Tall. If you want to see a good revenge story watch The Crow. If you want to see a movie full of bad acting, laughable gore effects (a single pool cue to the face caused an avalanche of blood and gore), bad direction and a plot so simplistic and dumb that you won’t even laugh at its absurdity this is the rental for you. There is even a scene that rips off Johnny Depp from Once Upon a Time in Mexico.
The entire film leads up to the final scene, the final reveal, and while it is supposed to be a “holy shit” moment is still just a copy of another movie that did it better. I will even tell you that movie is called Jacob’s Ladder. Now, don’t see this movie. It’s bad, bad, bad.
On the plus side, there was a head shot that caused the entire head to explode. That adds to the score.
The movie was presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and looked pretty rough. I understand it is a low budget film, but was still not up to par. The sound was better, presented in English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround.
There were no extra features. There are outtakes during the end credits that really don’t fit, considering the feel they were looking for in this movie. Avoid this movie at all costs.
2.4 out of 10