Thursday, January 17, 2019

Movie with Abe: Close

Directed by Vicky Jewson
Released January 18, 2019

Kidnapping attempts make up a disproportionate number of film plotlines, but there’s something about them that seems to appeal to audiences. The 2008 film “Taken” popularized this genre that features people being abducted and some incredibly skilled operative ultimately rescuing them while taking out a whole lot of bad guys along the way. Those juggernaut box office hits have inspired similar films to be made, though it can’t only be Liam Neeson saving the day and killing countless henchmen all the time. The more outrageous the setup, the more opportunity for reckless collateral damage, and that’s exactly what’s present here.

Fresh off a dangerous operation in the heart of war that goes wrong, Sam (Noomi Rapace) takes on an assignment that seems far simpler and less likely to put her life in danger, protecting an entitled heiress named Zoe (Sophie Nélisse) after the death of her father. Her stepmother (Indira Varma) detests Zoe and wants nothing to do with her, but far more nefarious forces demonstrate the need for the highly trained Sam to be exactly where she is, trying desperately to outsmart the many people uniting to try to take Zoe hostage.

This film is apparently inspired by Jacquie Davis, a real-life bodyguard who has achieved great fame and renown for her work in a field typically dominated by men. It is a refreshing change to see a female protagonist springing into action to save the day, and it’s hardly surprising that Rapace, who broke onto the international circuit with the original Swedish “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy, was cast to play that part, furthering her image and typecasting as a tough woman more than capable of handling herself and showing those who mess with her that she can perfectly ably fight back.

This equal opportunity showcase doesn’t do anything to improve the quality of this film, which posits itself as interested purely in showing action without much concern about the believability of the plot. The sheer manpower involved in just trying to capture Zoe would surely cost more than whatever amount a ransom would eventually pay, and that’s just the beginning of the issues with this film, which also introduces a tired dynamic of the bratty target and the business-oriented protector. There isn’t much originality to be found here, and what’s recycled feels that way, not worth trying again to see if it’s any less convincing the twentieth time around.


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