Friday, 22 July 2016

Close Range


Directed by
: Isaac Florentine
Screenplay: Chad Law & Shane Dax Taylor
Starring: Scott Adkins, Nick Chinlund, Caitlin Keats, Jake La Botz

Action dream team Adkins and Florentine are back at it with the hard boiled, super charged Close Range. Honing their fine action movie skills to almost perfection they deliver a tough edged action blast that may be streamlined on narrative but is busting at the seams with expertly handled fight and firepower scenes.

Adkins is Colton MacReady: you know the type – tough, fight skilled, ex-soldier, man of few words and a dab hand at taking out the bad guys. No sooner has the flick started than MacReady has taken down various Cartel goons in a glorious one take shot that starts in an elevator, continues down a hallway and ends with a muscular tussle in a hotel room. He’s there to rescue his niece who has been kidnapped by the local scuzzy Cartel. He does so quick smart and high tails it back to his sister’s ranch to deliver her daughter safe and sound. No sooner has he done this, the Cartel show up demanding revenge and the return of some high value flash drive MacReady inadvertently made off with during all the fighting. Throw in some dirty cops, a ranch under siege and enough action to sear your eyeballs and leave a huge grin on your face, and you have Close Range.

This is the type of film Cool Target is all about: lean, mean and stuffed to the gills with expertly staged action. With just enough set up and character motivation to build the siege aspect around, Adkins and Florentine then unleash a torrent of ever mounting action as the heroes fight desperately to stay alive. The two know what they’re doing in this genre by now and waste no time in staging action nirvana. There’s a mean edge to the action and proceedings meaning there is a true sense of a fight for survival, more than a few nods to Sergio Leone (with a great tangy western score adding to this vibe) and some solid support from the likes of Nick Chinlund, Jake La Botz and Caitlin Keats who handles all the gunfire just as well as Adkins as his tough but loving sister.

Florentine’s style is woven throughout from his trademark swoosh noise, slick camerawork and spot on scene construction: not a scene is wasted, action or otherwise, in terms of shot placement, character positioning and either driving the action or drama forward. Yet it is the action no doubt most of us will come for and boy does it excel. Adkins and Florentine seem to just want to showcase as much as possible on their admittedly slim budget and propel proceedings with fluidly shot action scenes. Along with all the ace fighting, Florentine piles on a surprisingly amount of welcome gunplay and the siege element frames the escalating carnage well. And what about the fights? They are glorious: tough and rough and most important, staged, shot and edited with clarity for maximum impact. The standout is a one-on-one tussle between MacReady and bad guy Cruz (played by fight choreographer Jeremy Marinas) that is blisteringly brutal, intricate and spectacular.

Close Range is a straightforward action blast with a director and star doing what they do best making it heaps of action fun. MacReady is also character that deserves a sequel: Close Range 2 please.

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