Blowback review

Expertly inept on all fronts, Blowback is an exhausting, tiring action thriller.

The premise is standard fare for the genre — a master strategist maps out a perfect heist but gets betrayed by his crew. Now he’s desperate for payback to save his daughter’s life.

Sure, the plot doesn’t win any points for originality, but it’s the layup pizza of movie genres. Even if it’s average it should be edible… enjoyable.

Nick (Cam Gigandet, Without Remorse) even has a decent motive for planning the heist as his daughter needs money for a life-saving procedure. While Nick can plan a heist down to the finest detail, he completely misses the mark in recruiting a team. 

This is the first of many flaws of the film Director Tibor Takács could have prevented. Nick seems like the most clueless mastermind around for not clearly seeing that this crew is the shadiest least trustworthy group he could possibly assemble.

blowback review - cam gigandet and michele plaia

Nick recruits his ex, Veronica, (Michele Plaia), who brings on her current-sorta lover Jack (Randy Couture) and his team. The four credited screenwriters seem confused on the exact relationship with Veronica and Jack.

 

In some scenes they have an almost antagonistic dynamic while in others Veronica acts like she’s trapped and would rather be with Nick. Either way it’s a poorly developed subplot and hardly the only on.

Jack isn’t exactly Mr. Warm & Fuzzy and his crew is even less welcoming to Nick, who basically ignores the neon signs — even more ironic since they’re in Vegas — that these guys can’t be trusted.

blowback review - rafael cabrera and

And predictably, they turn on Nick the second the heist is done.

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There’s some general logic laziness Takács and the screenwriters throw out whenever it’s convenient. Jack’s crew takes out Nick’s getaway car and shoot him but can’t bother to look below a very small hill to see where Nick landed.

Police detectives Cooper (Louis Mandylor) and Owens (Texas Battle) get plenty of screen time but are constantly 10 steps behind. Blowback isn’t long at 90 minutes, but the methodical pace and unimportant scenes make it feel twice as long.

blowback review - texas battle, candy santana and louis mandalyor

It doesn’t help that Nick is such a boring protagonist. Gigandet has enough to work with to give Nick some flavor or traces of charisma, but largely plays him like a cool, brooding star. That’s harder to pull off since Gigandet isn’t exactly a massive imposing threat, like Couture. He’s more like Ryan Gosling, who against the odds made his quiet character in Drive engaging.

Couture doesn’t have the presence to pull off being a menacing villain. Yes, he looks intimidating, but he can’t properly convey that as the featured final boss villain.

blowback review - randy couture and michele plaia

Oddly, Blowback might have worked if Gigandet and Couture switched roles. Gigandet could pull off the sleazy, weasel-type bad guy while Couture could play that wronged hero seeking revenge.

Dwayne Johnson pulled that off tremendously in Faster and that probably should have been the inspiration for Takács and the screenwriters.

Some of the problems could have been forgiven if the action scenes delivered, but that was another deficient area. The shootouts are slow and lack a sense of urgency. The actors all perform as if they’re waiting on their cue to double back from a gunshot instead of reacting like they’re in an actual shootout.

blowback review - randy couture

Blowback had a simple assignment — add another acceptable action film onto the endless heap of B-movies. Somehow it stumbles on that low hurdle resulting in one of the year’s weakest offerings in the genre.

Rating: 4 out of 10

Photo Credit: Saban Films

Check out Faster on Blu-Ray on Amazon.

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