29th Mar2023

‘Breakout’ Review

by James Rodrigues

Stars: Kristos Andrews, Louis Mandylor, Brian Krause, Tom Sizemore | Written by Brandon Slagle, Robert Thompson | Directed by Brandon Slagle

Prolific director Brandon Slagle opens his latest film centring on a speeding car, as Vincent Baros (Kristos Andrews) drives from a successful score. A shootout with a pursuing car ends with the driver being shot, only to reveal his status as an undercover police officer. This results in a prison sentence for Vincent, where he is visited by his estranged father, Alex (Louis Mandylor).

Any hopes of mending their relationship are interrupted when the maximum-security prison is taken over, as terrorist mastermind Max Chandler (Brian Krause) recruits the prisoners while making demands to the hostage negotiator (Tom Sizemore). However, nobody counted on Alex’s presence, as the retired Black Ops agent puts his skills towards stopping the takeover.

Co-writers Slagle and Robert Thompson have crafted their own prison-set take on Die Hard, which includes the inside man developing a relationship with an outside officer, and the inclusion of a “Welcome to the Party” line. Invoking John McTiernan’s action masterpiece is a risky choice, although that isn’t the biggest issue when the film struggles to stand on its own two feet.

With a sense of satisfaction regarding his position, explosives expert Max has lofty ideals about himself and his works. He firmly believes that he has a higher calling that others aren’t smart enough to understand, and it allows the impetuous Vincent to fall under his spell. As Alex intends to save his son, a battle for Vincent’s soul between two father figures unfolds.

From the pair’s first moments on-screen, father-son tensions are explored courtesy of barbed insults drowning in exposition, which accurately reflects how the actors struggle with the lacklustre dialogue. Considering this is an action film, it is unfortunate the fight scenes and their resulting violence are edited within an inch of their lives. What is shown is too by-the-numbers to quicken one’s pulse or stick in the memory.

* 1/5

Breakout comes to DVD and digital on April 11th.


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