'Force of Nature' Review: A sorry, damp squib that neither Mel Gibson nor Lionsgate should have been a part of
Michael Polish earns no wins or hearts with this film and for all the talk about Gibson, sorry to break it to you, he's just a support character
A category 5 hurricane, (wished it was a Category 5 Kaiju instead), a bad trigger-finger itchy hombre with a bunch of goons who seem too scared to handle the weapon they are carrying, a retired gruff and stubborn cop who wheezes, coughs and pants more then he talks, a demoted detective and a rank amateur cop. All of this connected by one common plotline — an art heist. Who in their right minds would plan a heist when survival comes first?
Mel Gibson is retired cop Ray and Kate Bosworth plays his daughter, Troy, a doctor. David Zayas is the bad man and he's called John the Baptist. Why? Well, he knows everything. How? We don't know either. Let's just assume he's one of the reasons why this movie was made in the first place. Cardillo (Emile Hirsch) is a former detective who after a case went horribly wrong ends up a cop. Jess Peña (Stephanie Cayo) and Cardillo are on evacuation duty. The latter would rather grab a donut instead. We wish they did.
So along come Cardillo and Peña following a call of evacuating a bunch of people holed up in a dingy, severely compressed-for-space apartment and they pick up a resident, Griffin (Will Catlett), on the way after he gets into a scuffle with a fellow shopper for hounding 100 ounces of meat in his shopping basket. He's got a beast for a pet and the thing loves its meat. Hauling up the meat-hoarder, they make a stop at his apartment block where s**t goes sideways.
While this buddy-cop duo is on evacuation duty, Troy is having daddy issues. A stubborn Ray in dire need of dialysis is like "Gimme some Oxy and I'll be right as rain". He recognizes Cardillo as the failed detective and decides to not move a muscle. He would rather take his chances with the hurricane. At the other end, the Baptist (God, we hate calling him that) and his bunch of loons try and break open a door with hopes of finding some expensive art pieces. Amid all this is Bergkamp (Jorge Luis Ramos), a German oldie who might be a Nazi? Nobody knows.
Baptist and Co. are actually searching for Bergkamp. He's the man with the details of the artwork and to force the information out of a frail, old man they bring with them enough firepower that might put Terry Crews' big drum loaded automatic shotgun to shame. And they battle while there are torrential rain and powercuts everywhere. Mercifully, this magic migraine-inducer is a 90-minute affair. Michael Polish earns no wins or hearts with this film and for all the talk about Gibson, sorry to break it to you, he's just a support character.
In all honesty, this was a movie Lionsgate shouldn't have made. Last year this time, the world was anticipating Gerard Butler's third outing as Mike Banning with 'Angel Has Fallen' set for an August release. This time, the anticipation soared, and unfortunately, 'Force of Nature' doesn't blow you away. Not one bit. It is a pity that a talented actor like Cayo and a versatile Bosworth get stuck in this film. We would rather have Cayo in a '6 Underground' sequel as Eight maybe?
There's some attempt in giving the key characters a backstory but the flimsy plot lets this one down. All guns, not much mayhem, random fights and a somehow tied up plotline make 'Force of Nature' a forgettable watch. If you ask us, find something else to do.
'Force of Nature' releases June 30 on Blu-ray (plus Digital) and DVD.