/contains minor spoilers/
Help! My intelligence is under assault. I'm starting to loose hope that I'll ever see a good action flick again. A new one I mean, I know I can watch old ones, duh.
But this was a frustrating one.
To start in medias res...I think this thing might have delivered the worst two lines I've ever heard in my entire life:
Hero: I've got no money, no insurance, my parents are dead, my wife's family is broke... what exactly do I fight with?
Token friend: You fight with everything you got!
I was laughing out loud at this point. As far as platitudes go this is hitting rock bottom.
But I digress, the story is based on the cliche that some rich people want to hunt a human for fun. And when 'hero' is told that he has cancer he thinks he has no other choice but to accept the deal.
The second most atrocious piece of writing was when they told 'hero' how much he gets paid for participating: $50.000. And he didn't even blink an eye or try to haggle the price. I mean $50k that's sure gonna set your family up for life, when you are dead, dumbass. If he was a trained special ops soldier, I'd have understood his confidence in going for the tier goals, but he is just a failed real estate broker, who played sports in college, with no training in any self defense or combat techniques. So it makes exactly zero sense that he would go for this deal.
The stupidest part has to be how the hunters are able to anticipate his every move, like some psychics. This is taken to the point where they are setting up elaborate cover identities with full costume, just waiting for him to show up at places. This would be dumb as dumb gets even if I disregard the fact that the hunt is a race of who gets to him first between the hunters. So lying in wait doesn't exactly gonna cut it.
And according to the story his location is only revealed once every hour, but this becomes completely mute as the hunters seem to know perfectly where he is at all times until the very end when he is actually at the most obvious place: his family's abandoned factory. At this point the fact that GPS supposedly shows his exact location in a stairwell in a building is barely worth mentioning.
And finally I have to mention the atrocious pacing. The runtime is 127 minutes with the end credits included. And at 117 minutes there is still absolutely nothing resolved, they are just setting up the final confrontation at that point. So everything is wrapped up within about 6 minutes.
I should sue the company responsible for this atrocity for the brain cells I lost while watching it.
Visuals: 7/10 I mean there are barely any special effects to talk of, and the fight choreography is what you'd expect from an untrained person. So this just means they didn't completely **** up the visual style by some palette swapping or artificial film grain or god knows what pretentious filmmakers like to do nowadays.
Cinematography: 7/10 Again, there is nothing particularly wrong with it or great either, you can't do a 2001 out of this material.
Acting: 8/10 They sure as hell bring some great actors to the table, I don't know how they got them on board with this script though. When you see even Christoph Waltz struggling on screen, you know you are dealing with some garbage tier characters.
Story: 1/10 The only reason it's not a zero, is because I didn't see the twist coming, which is about the only good thing about this thing they pretend is a story