23rd Jun2020

‘Legacy’ VOD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Luke Goss, Louis Mandylor, Elya Baskin, Audrey De León, Roberto ‘Sanz’ Sanchez, Mark Krenik, Ian Sharp, Renton Pexa, Marshal Hilton, Alain Mora, Matt Valvardi | Written by Robert Orr | Directed by R. Ellis Frazier

Former pop star turned actor Luke Goss has had an interesting post-pop career, carving his own path in Hollywood, appearing in a number of action movies since his star-making turn in Blade 2. He has put in some great performances in a bevy of direct-to-market action movies, in particular the Death Race DTV sequels – two of my personal favourites of his. What makes Goss such a good action star is, honestly, his smouldering good looks and a quiet demeanour. Thanks to which, he can pull off a smooth spy role and a quiet hard man of action hero proportions. In Legacy he does both, playing MI6 agent Gray – who in the opening calmly and smoothly (with an underlying hint of sheer rage) arrests war criminal Boranovic, who is flown to The Hague to stand trial. Of course being a good little war criminal Boranovic wants to cover his tracks and remove all trace of evidence against him…

And that evidence? His two biological sons!

Both adopted and now living in the US, the first son is killed while working his restaurant job. But the second, he ends up on a hunting trip in the isolated wilderness with his adoptive father (Louis Mandylor), where the pair are hunted by Boranovic’s lethal assassin Z (oh, did I mention he kills people THEN melts them down in barrels of acid?!). They are unexpectedly joined in their fight for survival by the local Deputy and Agent Gray – who reveals the disturbing truth about the son’s biological father and why he has sent an assassin to kill the teenager.

On the surface Legacy is yet another “hunting humans” tale, only wrapped up in a much bigger story of international crime, drug-dealing and people smuggling. However it’s not played in typical action-movie fashion, and there’s a commitment to making this story more human by focusing on the relationship between Jake (Renton Pexa) and his father and Agent Gray’s struggle with the consequences he’s brought upon strangers in his unrelenting quest for justice against Boranovic. It’s pretty dark stuff at times – especially when Gray starts losing men, he has a real sense of loss and regret which Goss portrays brilliantly.

A few years ago I reviewed Maximum Security, aka Larceny, another film by director R. Ellis Frazier. Back then I complained that the film featured more talking than action and Legacy very much follows suit. However this time it’s not to the detriment of the film, thanks to the cast – not only does Luke Goss deliver one of his best performances outside of his two Death Race movies (yes I still think these are his career highpoint, for now) but co-star Louis Mandylor delivers too, really showing an emotional, caring side to his fatherly role rather than the loud-mouthed hero type we saw recently in Payback. Hell even assassin Z is a multi-layered role, oftentimes a one-man Terminator-esque killing machine but he’s also shown as a human being, with feelings; however suppressed they may be.

A character-based movie that is clearly focused on people – relationships and family – rather than delivering over-the-top action, Legacy is a surprising film filled with surprisingly good performances and a surprisingly human story. It’s honestly worlds apart from your typical direct to market action fare and as such is a refreshing change. I hope to see more DTV action movies that focus just as much on characters as action in future!

Legacy is available on VOD now.

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