Directed by: Terry Miles
Written by: John Sullivan
Starring: Steve Austin, Serinda Swan & Danny Trejo
Steve Austin continues to carve out a post wrestling action movie career with this solid revenge flick that may be his best starring vehicle yet. Slick, tough and straight to the point, Recoil is no nonsense justice seeking action done right. Austin is Varrett a muscle bound, muscle car driving ex-cop who arrives in a small town looking for the killers of his family. Said killers are a ruthless biker gang, led by Danny Trejo’s Drayke, who have the town under their control. But with Varret now on the scene things are going to change and Drayke finds his once vice like grip on “his” town slipping.
A simple story, well-told Recoil gets down to business quick and while it rarely strays from a well-worn good-guy-cleaning-up-a-town-of-bad-guys narrative it does well enough at everything else that it rarely matters that proceedings are of a predictable nature. Slick direction and a mean and moody tone give the film a vibe of cool as bikers strut their stuff, the hero cruises around in a very cool muscle car and everyone tries to out tough one another. It never feels forced and with the likes of Austin and Trejo staring one another down the tough guy, pulpy tone is dead on. The characters are reasonably well drawn and for a low budget film there is mercifully, and refreshingly, very little hamming-it-up on show. The flick is played straight rather than over-the-top, which gives it more of an edge than your run-of-the-mill action flick. Not that it is completely stone faced as Austin still gets a few one liners in and his budding friendship with local town hottie Serinda Swan is nicely played and brings a little warmth to proceedings.
There is also plenty of knuckle dusting action on offer including bar room fights, a memorable scrap between Austin and UFC fighter Keith Jardine and the final showdown with Austin and Trejo which shows old Machete himself has still got a lot of fight left in him. The action has an old school feel to it as dudes duke it out with fists in several bone crunching dust ups. Despite the camera work being a little clunky on occasion we get to see what is going on in the fights and there is no silly editing or shaky cam getting in the way. As mentioned, Recoil doesn't really do anything new but it does tell a familiar story well with some solid action and a decent cast that elevate this little revenge flick from your standard direct-to-DVD action flick starring a former wrestler.