11th Dec2015

‘Standoff’ Review

by Richard Axtell

Stars: Thomas Jane, Laurence Fishburne, Ella Ballentine, Jim Watson, John Tench, Laura de Carteret, Ted Atherton, Joanna Douglas | Written and Directed by Adam Alleca

standoff

Carter (Jane), a troubled veteran who gets a chance at redemption by protecting a 12 year-old girl from an assassin after she witnesses a murder. Holding a shotgun with a single shell, he engages in physical and psychological warfare in a desperate fight for the girl’s life.

Unsurprisingly, the main premise for the film Standoff is that the film involves a stand-off between the two main characters as they both try to get the upper hand. If done incorrectly, this film has the ability to be incredibly boring. Let’s be honest, with neither party having the upper hand, it doesn’t leave much wiggle room for exciting things to happen. Thankfully, I was in luck and it turned out to be very entertaining. This was mainly due to the epic acting skills of Laurence Fishburne as the film’s antagonist who puts the ‘badass’ in ‘scary badass’ and provides the perfect balance between intriguing and threatening to sustain the story throughout.

Overall, there were no weak performances in Standoff as Carter and the assassin trade insults with only a stairway between them. The story, though not entirely original, does enough to keep us entertained as the stand-off continues, offering back story in the form of flashbacks and revealed truths. I mean, ‘troubled veteran’ versus ‘evil assassin’ is something I am sure I have seen before, but that doesn’t dampen the story and is handled very well. Standoff does get a little cheesy at times, especially with the dialogue between Carter and ‘Bird’ the little girl (Balentine), but it is forgivable and I never found it drawing me out or distracting me in any way.

Some of the cinematography in this film is surprisingly beautiful. This is particularly true towards the final act of the film when both characters are at the end of their rope. It highlights the contrasts and similarities between the characters with interesting use of light and darkness which I found to be pretty awesome. You know it’s good when you can’t help but pause the film just to appreciate it.

So there you go. I enjoyed Standoff quite a lot. It’s a good film with an entertaining plot. It is paced well, not dragging at any point and managed to keep me hooked right up until the end. Definitely a film I would encourage people to see.

**** 4/5

Standoff is released on DVD and Blu-ray on January 11th, courtesy of 101 Films. Pre-order the film below:

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