Joel Kinnaman (Robocop 2014, House of Cards) takes the lead in this dramatic crime thriller from writer/director Andrea Di Stefano (Escobar: Paradise Lost) and writers Matt Cook (Angel Has Fallen) and Rowan Joffe (28 Weeks Later). While not a perfect film (what is), there is plenty of suspense and thrilling twists to keep an audience both entertained and on the edge of their seats. The film is even more respectable when considering this is only Andrea Di Stefano’s second time in the director’s chair; cinematography, locations, actors were all well done and/or chosen.
Joel shines as Pete Koslow, a former special operations soldier who has also served time in jail after a fight protecting his wife. FBI agent Wilcox (Rosamund Pike; Doom, The World’s End, Gone Girl) offers Pete his freedom in exchange for serving as an informant and using his special ops skills to take down one of New York’s most powerful crime bosses, “The General” (Eugene Lipinski; The Recruit, Superman II & IV, Animorphs).
Of course, this would not be much of a thriller if everything went perfectly. When something goes wrong causing the FBI to leave Pete hanging (which promos, descriptions, and other reviewers might reveal, but I think I can talk around it with spoiling), Pete gets another chance to continue his mission with the FBI, but to do so, he has to return to prison where he again finds himself fending for himself and his family while stuck between the FBI, the mob, and the NYPD.
There is a bit of a slow build in the first half-hour to hour of the film; some necessary setup that will pay off later either in drama or action. Dialogue in one scene seemed to contain about 90% profanities, which usually tells me the writers had nothing with which to work, but then that scene ended with a twist that changes the whole movie, bringing in the third group setting their sights on Pete. Once the action picks up, the story becomes captivating as the audience holds their breathe waiting to see if Pete will be able to escape his predicaments and reunite with his family.