04th Feb2020

‘The Courier’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Gary Oldman, Olga Kurylenko, Amit Shah, William Moseley, Dermot Mulroney, Alicia Agneson | Written by Zackary Adler, James Edward Barker, Andy Conway, Nicky Tate | Directed by Zackary Adler

courier-blu-cover

Set against a gritty London backdrop, Olga Kurylenko plays a tough motorbike courier whose day takes a wrong turn after discovering a package she’s carrying is a bomb… The target? Nick Murch (Amit Shah), the only witness able to testify against ruthless crime lord Ezekiel Mannings (Gary Oldman). As the British Police and FBI scramble to deal with the mess, the mysteriously well-trained and equipped courier teams up with unlikely partner Nick to evade Mannings’ heavily armed goons and make sure that justice is delivered.

The Courier is one of those films that can be succinctly summed up in one comparative sentence. In this case it’s “Die Hard in a parking garage”. Only this is a FEMALE led Die Hard, filmed in England, with a bevy of British and European actors. Making this more akin to the action films of Luc Besson and his Europa shingle than any John McClane film.

The hero this time round is Olga Kurylenko, as an ex-military ops turned courier (aren’t they all?) who literally stumbles into a wild and crazy situation a la Die Hard. And, much like Die Hard she has to find a way to take down the bad guys and rescue her ward Nick – a man to whom she delivered a deadly device. Well I say Kurylenko is the hero but it’s is both Olga’s courier AND the man she’s trying to save, Nick, who become almost one hero – working together to stay one step ahead of a virtual army of killers and to stay alive.

And that’s one of the biggest difference between The Courier and others of its ilk. The fact that we have, essentially, a heroic duo at the core of the story. In many others ways however, The Courier is yet another paint-by-numbers action thriller that does little more with its concept than allow Kurylenko to shine as the titular courier and Gary Oldman to chew the scenery as crime lord Ezekiel Mannings – the man behind all the chaos.

Yet that’s not a bad thing.

The Courier is definitely a case of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. This kind of story works well in action cinema, as it has before and will again. For what this kind of stereotypical story/film rides on, besides audience familiarity and the usual underdog plotting, is the cast. Thankfully The Courier has a great cast in Olga Kurylenko and Amit Shah – the pair work well together and you truly, and I do mean truly, believe Kurylenko is a one-woman killing machine (though she takes one HELL of a beating in this film). And because this story has a duo at its core you end up rooting for both characters: Nick to stay alive and testify and the courier to kill every single person trying to harm her and Nick!

A fantastic example of the genre, with a [frankly] bloody brilliant epilogue, if you’re action movie fan you should definitely track this courier down.

***½  3.5/5

The Courier is out now on DVD and Digital from Signature Entertainment.

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