Monday, February 6, 2017

Gridlocked (2015)

Number Rolled: 28
Movie Name/Year: Gridlocked (2015)
Tagline: Only one way out…
Genre: Action
Length: 114 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Hackybox Pictures, Gridlocked Entertainment, High Star Entertainment, North Hollywood Films
Producer: Geoff Hart, Mike Hattim, Marino Kulas, Louie Maisano, Bruno Marino, Jenna Mattison, Vincenzo Varallo, Bill Viola Jr.
Director: Allan Ungar
Writer: Allan Ungar, Rob Robol
Actors: Dominic Purcell, Cody Hackman, Stephen Lang, Trish Stratus, Danny Glover, Vinnie Jones, Saul Rubinek, Richard Gunn, Steve Byers, James A. Woods, Romano Orzari, Dwayne McLean, Derek McGrath, Judah Katz, Linda Goranson, Jim Codrington, Stephen Bogaert, Paul Amos, J.P. Manoux, Ben Mulroney
Stunt Doubles: Marie-Eve Beckers, Kevan Kase, John MacDonald, Chris Mark, Louis Paquette

Speech Available: English, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese
Subtitles Available: English, Traditional Chinese, French, Italian Spanish

Blurb from Netflix: An embittered cop is tasked with baby-sitting a spoiled actor, but the two must learn to fight together when they run afoul of a group of mercenaries.

Selina’s Point of View:
By about ten minutes in I knew everything I had to know about this film. I could pitch the storyline almost scene for scene. The beginning, wasn’t even very good either… so I figured I would hate it. In fact, I kind of wanted to hate it. It’s was one of the most recipe film I’ve seen… but I actually enjoyed it.

The fight scenes were well choreographed, the acting was pretty good and, the best part, the film didn’t take itself too seriously.

If the writers/director had taken the film too seriously, this would have been an awful movie. Instead, they kind of poked fun at the recipes they were using and I wound up doing some laughing here and there. That laughter wasn’t at the movie, either, but with it. In fact, the characters endeared themselves to me through the humor and I became invested.

This is one of those movies that’s proof that not all recipe films are garbage. Just because someone is using some well-known tropes, doesn’t mean they can’t do something interesting with them.

Although there was definitely nothing ground-breaking about Gridlocked I was still very entertained by it and I do believe I’d watch it again.

Cat’s Point of View:
The ‘babysitter cop’ angle is not a newcomer to the screen. Given, there are different variations of it that stretch across a wide range of subgenres such as cop plus kids, cop plus out of town cop, and what we have here with the cop plus celebrity. A lot of them tend to blend together a bit; and then you have the occasional diamond in the rough like the hilarious Pacifier (2005), Rush Hour (1998) or the hit TV series Castle (2009-2016).

I’m not sure that this movie hit a bar high enough to be considered a standout in this particular theme, but I certainly enjoyed it.

Just yesterday, I was talking with a friend about the new Fox Lethal Weapon (2016-) reboot series, and the various casting. I had to chuckle a moment when I realized that Danny Glover (Beyond the Lights, Dirty Grandpa, Monster Trucks) was actually in this movie. There’s a nod to his Lethal Weapon (1987) roots which had me laughing at a rather inappropriately timed moment because I caught the reference.

I was really impressed with this cast, actually. There were some real heavy hitters mixed in. I’ve said before that Stephen Lang (Sun Belt Express, In The Blood, Isolation) is an epic choice for an intense badass – especially if the role is a villain. He doesn’t disappoint here.

Vinnie Jones (The Condemned, Escape Plan, Galavant) has been an action favorite of mine since 2000, when I saw him in both Snatch and Gone in 60 Seconds. He has remained a busy man since then, and adds a little more of that ‘authentic mercenary’ feel to his role in this movie.

Dominic Purcell (Prison Break, Ice Soldiers, Elimination Game) can always be counted on for a broody and intense performance, which was right up this film’s alley. His work in the superhero shows on the CW has shown a little more of his lighter range while still reinforcing his vibe as someone more hardcore. Of course, it's actually more than a vibe. In his fight scene with Jones, he was actually suffering from food poisoning and insisted on pushing through to complete the scene himself rather than call for a stand-in.

I was surprised to learn that Cody Hackman (Just for Laughs, Tapped Out, Hidden in the Woods) has a martial arts background. I appreciate his performance here more as the pampered celebrity on a court mandated ride-along; because he really dialed back in his own fight scenes. He came across as the action movie actor who knows just enough from fight choreography experience to stay alive.

Trish Stratus (Fully Loaded, Royal Canadian Air Farce, Bounty Hunters) handles her role here fairly well, also. I know some easily discount ‘sports entertainers’ when it comes to action roles; but while she is no Dwayne Johnson (The Tooth Fairy, Snitch, San Andreas) she held her own. This was only her second non-WWE production that wasn’t a wrestling character cameo.

Is the movie fairly predictable following the recipe? Yes, it is. Did I care? See, that’s the important part. I actually wouldn’t mind watching this one again and it’s an easy recommendation. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 41%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 4/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

P.S. Some scenes during the credits.

Movie Trailer:

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