Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller
Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller
Carter (Thomas Jane), a troubled veteran, gets a chance at redemption by protecting a 12-year-old girl from an assassin (Laurence Fishburne) after she witnesses a murder. Holding a shotgun with a single shell, he engages in physical and psychological warfare in a desperate fight for the girl's life.
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February 25, 2016 at 11:37 AM
Surprising and Suspenseful
Just beyond the opening scenes, Standoff quickly rises above its cheapness as an enjoyable and gripping suspense thriller. Then we're treated to an old breed of filmmaking that hasn't been this well-done since the likes of Misery! I love both headlining actors dearly but they've unfairly fallen off the radar in recent years. I still buy into their efforts on occasion despite bitter reviews, though, because budget does not always make for a great movie. In this case, it hits the spot.
So an ex-military man turned mafia hit-man hunts the sole witness of a multiple murder - a young girl with a camera - to a lonely farmhouse inhabited by a grieving alcoholic. Literally this is the premise and the scene is set for a siege and an edgy war of wits as one tries to convince the other to let him have the girl and walk away.
Sometimes that's all you need; no winding plot twists to keep people guessing. Sometimes it's just about the suspense and the viscera, but Standoff benefits from a great script and the skills of the director who also wrote it.
It has an old-school feel to it, and when we get down to it, even the look of the film harks back to a day of shamelessly simple effectiveness.
Fishburne is on top form as the villain, bringing the ghetto mentality of former villainous roles from the likes of King of New York and Assault on Precinct 13. He's sharper than ever, bursting with character and both smouldering and cold-blooded.
Thomas Jane also throws in his strongest performance in a long time and his man on the edge versus the man on a deadline is both genius acting and writing at once. They don't make characters like this anymore. Back in the '70s or '80s the role could have belonged to Lee Marvin, James Coburn or Roy Scheider.
I'm surprised and saddened that Standoff isn't getting recognition. It deserves a round of applause!
For what it is, the film isn't bad.
'STANDOFF': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)
Low-budget action flick, about a standoff between a war veteran and an assassin, in the veteran's country home; over the safety of a young girl, who witnessed a vicious crime. The movie stars Thomas Jane, Laurence Fishburne and newcomer Ella Ballentine. It was written and directed by first time feature filmmaker Adam Alleca. For what it is, the film isn't bad.
Jane plays Carter Green; a military veteran that recently suffered a horrible tragedy. He's now a depressed alcoholic, that lives alone and contemplates suicide. Fishburne plays a hit-man named Sade; who's very good at his job, and extremely calculated. When a young girl, named Bird (Ballentine), witnesses Sade killing multiple people, the hit- man decides she must die. Bird runs to Carter's house for protection, and an intense standoff between the two men develops. Carter has nothing but a shotgun, and two rounds, to protect him and the girl.
The movie is pretty well done, for such a simple story. The characters are nicely developed, the performances are decent, and the directing is more than adequate (especially for such a low budget film). With all that said, there's still not a lot to the movie; and I don't think I'll probably remember much about it, years from now. Still, I had a good time while I was watching it.
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Tense and well acted
Nine out of ten. Well it must be Academy Award material. Perhaps not, but so many movies rely on CGI or terribly ham performances that there doesn't seem to be any space for thoughtful movies any more.
I hate lengthy chase sequences, long gunfights, or scenes where one man walks into a heavily-guarded base, takes out all the baddies, lectures and kills the head guy and emerges unscathed.
This is different. Thomas Jane has the high ground. Laurence Fishburne is hunting quarry. Only the viewer knows Jane's precarious position. It isn't "perfect" but it is interesting. At what point do you give up? At what point do you consider only your own needs? This is an economical film that will not appeal to people who need popcorn to make a movie experience viable. At first, the red dress annoyed me, but as the movie developed, it became clear that it was carefully thought out.
There are flaws. This is undeniable. But it has assured performances, coupled with interesting ideals. Do you relate to the driven contractor, the alcoholic who has fallen from grace, or the lost individual who relies on compassion?