09th Apr2016

‘Close Range’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Scott Adkins, Nick Chinlund, Caitlin Keats, Madison Lawlor, Tony Perez, Jake La Botz, Scott Evans, Randy Hall, Julien Cesario, Ray Diaz, Anthony L. Fernandez | Written by Chad Law, Shane Dax Taylor | Directed by Isaac Florentine

close-range-adkins

After unwittingly making off with a mysterious flash drive during the rescue of his young niece from a powerful drug cartel, Colton MacReady is thrust into a relentless fight to save his family as the cartel descends upon his sister’s home in search of it and their own brand of south-of-the-border justice. In tow is a corrupt local sheriff and his crew of deputies, ensuring that help won’t be coming any time soon. What ensues is a non-stop assault, a blow-by-blow survival marathon for Colton to protect his loved ones and save his own life while keeping the drive from falling back into the wrong hands.

Isaac Florentine and Scott Adkins, two names that will get any action movie fans pulses racing. Together the pair have made some of the greatest modern action movies in recent history: Undisputed 2 and 3; and Ninja and its sequel to name but a few (the pair actually began working together way back in 2003 with the Marshall Teague actioner Special Forces) So when I saw their latest collaboration, Close Range, hit iTunes this week I couldn’t help but get excited…

Now maybe I was too hyped for Close Range. Maybe I was expecting something a little more action-packed. Maybe… Whilst I can’t call the film a disappointment, what I got was a movie that seemed to be doing its damnedest to be a John Woo-esque bullet-ballet – complete with copious amounts of slow-mo – rather than the hand-to-hand combat filled, arse-kicking movies we’ve seen from the pair previously. And yes, while Close Range has it’s fair share of fight-filled set pieces – including a cringe-inducing knife fight towards the end of the film, and an amazing Adkins vs car sequence that is totally spoiled by the trailer – a lot of the action was reserved for gunfights rather than fist fights. Which left me a tad cold.

Despite all that, there’s no way you can say Close Range is a bad movie. No way at all. Compared to a lot of the action movies that are released on these shores it is, in fact, something of a B-movie masterpiece! Given that this is a low budget genre movie, the cast are top notch, the fight choreography is on point and the gunplay is frenetic. The overarching “modern Western” theme also works really well too. I just wanted to see more of Adkins kicking arse rather than shooting it.

Close Range is out now on DVD and VOD.

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