Mel Gibson is back on the screen instead of behind the camera in this revenge flick that plays out like a cross between Payback and Conspiracy Theory. After his daughter is killed right before his eyes, Gibson (a Boston cop) decides to handle the investigation himself. What he uncovers is not what he was expecting.
Playing his own age, the Road Warrior is like a methodical tank rolling over anyone in his way but still tinged with emotion and sentimentality that an older crowd will enjoy. Some of the themes become a little clunky as the movie unfolds, but the director clings to the driving force of Gibson’s character’s motivation as best he can to move us forward. One disappointing element is the use of the aging Gibson in action scenes where he is almost mythical in his strength and abilities. In one scene he kicks thick glass blocks from a bathroom wall with Herculean strength that seemed a little unnecessary, especially when it dilutes the fragile nature of his character and the personal intimacy of the story by making him more like his super human styled characters of the past.
Still, the movie is mostly entertaining and even gets pretty hardcore in some scenes. The movie, based off of an old BBC miniseries of the same name has some big shoes to fill but is a nice update. Ray Winstone steals every scene he’s in. A powerhouse of an actor; especially if he’s doing a scene with Mel, the chemistry between the two is palpable. It’s not as much like Taken as the trailer makes it seem and if you’re a fan of “man-on-a-mission” movies like Man on Fire, Get Carter, Point Blank or the Limey, you’ll want to add this to your collection when it hits DVD.