Director: Steven C. Miller
Writer: Jason Mosberg
Stars: Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, Adrian Grenier
Plot: A Southern mobster attempts to rescue his kidnapped brother.
Running Time: 97 Minutes
IMDB Score: 4.0
Why I watched it: Mainly the cast and yes of course it’s an action movie and I’d seen a few of director Steven C Miller’s work and he’s pretty good at B-Movies.
Thoughts: The plot I gave you, is not right, I usually try to get the plot from IMDB so paraphrase from the film itself, but yeah it’s not right the brother isn’t a mobster, he’s a business man, the guys who kidnapped his brother are though and that kidnapping takes a very long time to happen.
What I liked: I’ll be honest right up front, this is a very badly done film. I said it but let me throw a couple of positives out there. Johnathan Schaech really tries, he gives maybe the best performance, he’s not the best actor but he seems to give a crap where almost everyone else is either sleepwalking or going way over the top. Schaech plays his character has a flawed man who loves his family and has made scarifies and has paid for them. Even though this was a paycheck movie John Cusack has such an easy charm and screen presence that he almost gives a good performance without trying.
What I didn’t like: Let’s discuss Nicolas Cage, we all know his act now, he gives weird, fun over the top performances, I like Cage and sometimes his over the top stuff is great here man oh man it’s bad here. His performance here is just over the top, he’s not playing a character he’s just gone off on his own and the performance is plain bad. The thing with Cage he usually gives the type of performance the film requires here he’s lost and in one regard I don’t blame him cause the movie is just bad and the script is worse. Cage is so bad it really takes you out of the movie.
Adrian Grenier has some strengths but being in an action film isn’t one of them. He’s to light weight, when he tries to be tough he comes off like a whiny kid. He does try and with a better story he wouldn’t have stuck out as much. John Cusack’s role could be cut out entirely and it wouldn’t effect the story, he does nothing here, he’s a cop and he’s a friend and that’s it, he tags a long but does nothing of importance. He’s there to get a paycheck and to put his name on the poster.
Like I stated I’ve seen director Steven C Miller’s other films, most of them and he can do a decent action and some are fun here this one is so dour and poorly written not only does it fail as a decent movie but also it takes all the fun out of this type of setup. I’ve used this term a lot when it comes to genre films, this is a soulless film, there’s no heart, no passion or commitment to telling a good story, it’s all based on cliches. There is not one shot or one idea that is even close to being new or interesting. By the end this film was getting me mad at how bad this was.
Final thoughts: Badly made film pure and simple, with the talent involved at the very least they should have made an entertaining mess but they failed at even doing that. As a closing note there is no reason why this film was called Arsenal.