Saturday, March 25, 2017

ARSENAL (2017)

Directed By: Steven C. Miller 
Written By: Jason Mosberg 
Cinematography By: Brandon Cox 
Editor: Vincent Tabaillon 

Cast: Adrian Grenier, Jonathan Schaech, John Cusack, Nicolas Cage, Vivian Benetiz, Lydia Hull, Heather Johansen, Christopher Coopola 

A Southern mobster attempts to rescue his kidnapped brother.

The film tries hard to sell itself and give us a reason to like Jonathan Schaech's character in the first places. As throughout the film he is a bitter and mean screw-up. Who loves his brother even if in the first scenes he is kind of a dick to him. Though once they grow up his older brother is always in trouble and he is there to bail him out. Not taking the advice he. Gave to his workers earlier in the film. About helping others through tough love.

The only time the film becomes interested In Details and gets going is when it's dedicated to an action sequence, or a scene of violence need to be displayed. Then the film seems to come to life and get energetic

John Cusack and Nicolas Cage are In this film more as supporting characters. One is a confidante the other a full fledged villain. How the mighty might have fallen as watching them star in more and more straight to on demand movies. Seperate and occasionally together feels like a Roger Corman movie situation. where some are doing it for the work and also just for the money. Like they are stuck in a multi picture deal and doing just what it takes to put in a believable performance their heart isn't into.

Nicolas cage performance unhinged as usual and he makes the movie almost worth watching. With a reprisal of his character from the movie DEADFALL. A movie I haven't seen all the way through myself my. Here he sports a prosthetic nose. A thick fake mustache and a 1970's styled wig that makes him look like a skinnier version of Andy Kaufman's character Tony Clifton. This is a straight out the looney bin type of role and Cage goes all for it. Seeming like he is choking on scenery. As after a certain point his character walks around in a blood drenched white suit for half the film. After beating a family member to death with his own hands.

John Cusack is in the film more like an extended cameo but use him enough to count as a supporting character. Again mostly in sunglasses and hat or bandana like he is trying to hide the fact he is in this movie. Like Adam Sandler he more looks like he came dressed to the set like that and they used it for his character. He barely gives the role any energy and took his second scene for me to realize he was even supposed to be a cop.

Adrain Grenier tries but the script seems to form his actions rather than anything rational or character wise. As he seems to be the only person who believes in his sibling. No matter how he seems to treat him. He is always his biggest fan. He also seems kind of wimpy at first yet responsible. Then throughout the film I don't know if it was supposed to be bottled up anger, but he becomes a bad ass, but a moral one.

The film let's his brother be the more anti-heroic one.

The film has foreshadowing all over the place. Unfortunately More than anything the film is just dull. Especially in between scenes where it seems to be killing time until the showdown we know is coming. Trying to fill in that time with set-up but it comes across more as filler and uncomfortable with actually building character and background.

The film tries to come alive with action, but what you get is just mindless violence, but then again what do you expect from director Steven C. Miller the mastermind behind the remake of SILENT NIGHT and many disappointing VOD all star movies.

I am guessing as the film doesn't want to give a false sense of hope and pretend it's something it's not.

This film is totally disposable the only reason it is of interest and rises a bit above what you expect are the names in the cast. You could easily fast forward through the film to just watch the Nicolas Cage scenes. Unless you really want to watch the film and the only thing other than he Cage scenes might be the action scenes. Which is where the film comes alive. Though they are few and far in between.

The film just feels too scripted where the only reason characters act or make the decisions that they do is because the script forces them to.

Grade: F

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