11th Jul2017

‘Security’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Antonio Banderas, Ben Kingsley, Liam McIntyre, Chad Lindberg, Gabriella Wright, Cung Le, Mark Rhino Smith, Jiro Wang, Katherine de la Rocha, Lillian Blankenship, Velimir Velev | Written by Tony Mosher, John Sullivan | Directed by Alain Desrochers

security-dvd

Down on his luck and desperate for work, ex-special services veteran Eddie (Banderas) takes a job as a security guard at a run-down mall in a rough area of town. On his first night on the job he opens the doors up to a distraught and desperate young girl who has escaped and fled from a hijacking of the Police motorcade that was transporting her to testify as a trial witness in a briefcase. Hot on her heels is psychopathic hijacker (Ben Kingsley), alongside his resourceful henchmen, who will stop at nothing to extract and eliminate their witness.

The Die Hard template of movie-making (trapped in a locale as invaders take it over) is one that has been replicated over and over throughout the intervening years – of course Die Hard didn’t originate the concept, but it is the measuring stick by which all films since have been compared – setting a very high, and beloved, standard. So when the latest iteration of the format, the usually monikered “Die Hard in a…” hits stores it’s met with a mix of derision and intrigue. Derision because most (note I do say most, not all) Die Hard wannabes tend to fall short; and intrigue because audiences still want to see if, and how, said films actually measure up to the 80s classic.

So how does Security, a film literally emblazoned with “Die Hard in a shopping mall” right on the UK DVD cover, shape up? In a word… amazingly.

As it is with all these types of film, the core story is nothing new: bad guys want in, good guys want to [in this case] stay alive. But Security adds the odd twist to proceedings to keep the story interesting – we have a bunch of unarmed security guards trying to defend a mall AND a teenage girl from a group of heavily armed invaders, with only Antonio Banderas’ former Army Captain, Eddie, having any kind of training and skill to actually pull it off!

Speaking of Banderas, this is easily his most commanding role in years; and the fact that we’ve seen him before in action-orientated roles only helps bring more gravitas to his character too. Her he forgoes the over-the-top, sometimes flamboyant “hero” performance we’ve seen in the likes of Zorro, The Expendables and the Spy Kids movies; instead bringing a world-weariness to the role, giving such a great performance that he’s overcomes his own action-hero stereotype and truly makes the audience believe in his character Eddie. It helps that we know Eddie has family troubles of his own – somewhat swiftly touched upon in the film but enough to make an impact – and protecting the desperate young girl is a metaphor for Eddies need to protect and  provide for his own family. And yes, whilst that may be something of a cliche (which is ladled on come the movies epilogue), it still adds an extra dimension to the character.

But of course many will watch Security hoping it’s filled with action and gunplay; and, of course, it is. In fact the stunts in this film – in particular the scenes of Eddie riding round the mall on a quad bike like a madman – are some of the real highlights. And so they should be. For Security‘s cast and crew are well-versed in the genre: director Alain Desrochers is the man behind the awesome French-Canadian action flick Nitro and it’s sequel Nitro Rush (and he helmed the Bon Cop Bad Cop sequel, which I’m REALLY looking forward to seeing; whilst the screenwriting duo of Tony Mosher and John Sullivan have between them penned scripts for films such as Mechanic: Resurrection, and the fantastic “Stone Cold” Steve Austin flick Recoil (which action fans will know is one of Austin’s better DTV efforts). These guys know how to write and stage action – and it shows here!

A fantastic take on a classic cinematic trope, Security is more akin to the serious Assault on Precinct 13 than the quip-filled Die Hard, and its just as good as both. An unmissable action-movie gem.

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