tisdag 1 december 2020

Force Of Nature

When you hear some actors name, you know exactly what films they have been in, and you know what film you loved most. It does not matter how old the actor is, or how many films the actor has done, you have your personal favourites to pick from that particular actor´s career. At this moment i would like to mention one of those actors, and that is legendary actor Mel Gibson. What an incredible movie career he have had, with some really classic films. I believe the first time i saw a Mel Gibson film might have been in 1986, and that was Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, after a barbecue evening at one of my parents friends home. They rented the film on VHS, and i stared at the VHS cover like it was the coolest cover ever. I remember thinking Mel Gibson was so cool as Mad Max, and this film is still fun to watch today. At that time i did not know that this was the third film in the Mad Max franchise, so when i found out i had to see the other two films. I especially loved the second film The Road Warrior, who i still see as one of the true classic action films in Mel Gibson´s career. Mel have done a lot of different categories, but i think we can all agree that the Lethal Weapon franchise with Danny Glover will always be loved by many generations ahead. There are so many films i could talk about, but i decided to talk about one specific film that may not be one his most classic films, but will turn 19 years next year, and that i appreciate. And that is the Vietnam war movie We Were Soldiers, released in 2002. This film is actually directed by Mel Gibson as well and tells the story of US Army Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore, who is chosen to train and lead a battalion, to prepare for the war in Vietnam. We Were Soldiers is a powerful war movie, and Mel Gibson clearly wanted to tell this story to let people remember how horrible this war was, and he does that really well with a great cast. If you have not seen this film, you should. Since this summer, i have known about Mel Gibson´s action film called Force Of Nature, but it was not until now i decided to pick it up on Blu Ray. Is this another highlight in Mel´s career, or does this film prove that he is getting too old for action films?

Police officer Cardillo ( Emile Hirsch ) and police officer Jess ( Stephanie Cayo ) are ordered to evacuate people from an appartment building, while a Category 5 hurricane is moving across Puerto Rico. As they arrive at the appartment building, they find out that in one of the appartments, they have a retired cop known as Ray ( Mel Gibson ), who clearly have health issues. They all need to be taken to a shelter, but when one of the people get shot by a criminal gang, led by John The Baptist ( David Zayas ), Cardillo and Jess are forced to stay in the building to protect the people living there. John is looking for a very exclusice painting, that is supposed to be in this building, and no one will survive unless they give it to him.

I like the idea behind Force Of Nature, cops trapped in an appartment house with civilians, while criminals looking for a real Van Gogh painting, while they have a big hurricane going all across Puerto Rico. So i have no issues with this part of the plot. My biggest problem with Force Of Nature is that this is supposed to be an exciting action film, and this is where they should have focused more on delivering solid action scenes. The shooting scenes does not really feel powerful, and as we all know in an action film, without great gun battle scenes, you loose some of the power that is expected in the action genre. There is one silly detail also, one of the people living in this appartment building named Griffin ( played by actor William Catlett, who at least gives a descent performance ), he has a pet inside a guest room, that looks like a puma and is trained to hate cops ( makes perfect sense ). There is a scene where Griffin is accidently attacked by his own pet ( just harming his leg ), but the puma eats a bad guy instead, i guess the animal is trained not to eat his owner, that part of the film did not really feel needed to be included here. The best part of Force Of Nature is without a doubt Mel Gibson as the character Ray, a retired cop. He have some funny dialogue, and he does fire his gun as well in a few scenes, but not as much as you would hope. I also enjoy seeing legendary actor David Zayas ( that i especilly enjoyed in TV series Dexter ) as the bad guy John. He is one of the few characters in this film that you feel fit in here. Actors such as Kate Bosworth, Emile Hirsch and Stephanie Cayo do have plenty of screen time here, but don´t leave a big impact. My best way to describe Force Of Nature is an action film that you won´t feel excited about, because of the lack of effort to make the audience excited. Director Michael Polish have some good ideas with this film, but does not match them well with the mellow action scenes. You should probably only see this film if you are a big fan of Mel Gibson, or just skip this one and watch his better action film Blood Father from 2016, a delightful treat for fans of Mel Gibson, perhaps one of his best action films in many years.

Rating: DD

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