Close Range Blu-ray Review
Who is Scott Adkins? Is there some secret group of film junkies that follow around unknown action actors, waiting for them to make it big? CLOSE RANGE plays like Adkins big premiere as a big picture star in his own role where he’s ready to shoot, kill, and thrill. The world’s greatest singer Meat Loaf once said, “two out of three ain’t bad,” but in the case of CLOSE RANGE, it needs more than just some well-choreographed action scenes and shootouts to make it through this long, tedious movie.
Adkins’s rough and tough character is named Colton MacReady, which sounds just like it reads, pulpy and cheesy. He’s called up by his sister, Angela (Keats) to save his niece, Hailey (Madison Lawler), who’s been captured by a Mexican Cartel, but everything is not that simple. His niece’s father may be the reason the cartel is holding her for ransom and of course, in movies like this, the local Texas cops are crooked and some may be in cahoots with the Cartel.
Of course of lot of this information isn’t really pieced together until we’re near the halfway point. A little bit of exposition, and even a lot of exposition, would have been helpful to get invested somewhat into MacReady’s story. The Cartel’s inevitable standoff and shoot up with MacReady provides the exposition, and the supposed twists, all at the same time. Together, it’s sloppy and lazy, as if the two writers for this movie realized too late that they needed to write a reason for why the Cartel and MacReady would even begin to point the guns at each other and pull the trigger.
CLOSE RANGE feels somewhat similar to the premise of WALKING TALL, but Adkins really doesn’t have any personality or charisma. He can sell an action scene and certainly pulls off some very realistic, well executed stunts, but as a hero, he lacks everything, down to the one-liners, that are non-existent. Adkins’s performance is much better suited for a villain, who’s allowed to be so wooden. It wouldn’t surprise me if Adkins has been the lead bad guy at some point in his career.
I legitimately feel bad for seemingly pointing all the fingers of blame directly at Adkins, who like I’ve mentioned before, is a great stunt actor and I bet is very good in every action movie he does when he’s throwing a fist, dodging a kick, and firing off a round. Everything else around him is just so bad. The story is void without meaning. The direction is all over the place and when it does focus, it’s empty. The movie shoots the opening credits like a comic book and the film opens with a samurai quote, as if it’s looking to touch upon every action trope in the big book of clichés.
The story is very predictable, without any emotion, leaving every other actor to bump into each other, shout and cry, and then fight Adkins. CLOSE RANGE may be a sufficient fix for fans of Adkins’s or even the weary action movie junkie, but on a pure entertainment level, it’s flawed. To get invested in an action, there are a few things a film has to do. I could talk about those various things and how this movie did them wrong, but it’s be futile. I can only hope that I see Adkins down the line in something better, or better yet in a movie he’s already done that I have neglected to realize he is in.
Video: (1080p Widescreen 1:85:1) The action sequences are very well shot, but there’s too much blur when the camera speeds from one shot to another, quickly panning back and forth.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) While the video lacks quality, the sound is well balanced and provides a nice, level transition between explosions and dialogue.