It’s 3:19 pm
I recently made a quick run to my local Family Video to see if anything relatively fresh had been out for sale. Relatively fresh to me means it’s a movie I haven’t seen before hence why I use the term loosely speaking.
So while I passed over all the 30 year old movies hogging up shelf space,my eye caught a title I hadn’t seen before. I pick it up and it’s a movie called “Standoff” with Laurence Fishburne and Thomas Jane. These two are some of my favorite actors so I picked it up.
The story of Standoff is a good one and at first glance you may feel like you have seen it many times before,don’t be fooled,it runs much deeper then it’s simple premise.
The story opens with 12 year old Bird(Ella Ballentine) being taken by her uncle (who is a bit of a redneck) to visit her parent’s grave. Bird is having a hard time of it and she holds on to her dad’s camera as a touchstone. The uncle tries to get Bird to leave the camera in the car but she doesn’t want to leave it behind. He instructs her not to take any pictures of any funerals as he is staying in the car.
After she visits her parents,Bird hears voices and sees a service nearby. As she is looking ,she witnesses a masked man shooting the small group,including the priest.
The assassin takes off his mask and it’s Sade(Laurence Fishburne). He starts cleaning up after his job and Bird starts taking his picture.
Bird runs back to her uncle but he isn’t there…as she starts to get nervous,she hears him calling her name and she attempts to warn him but is too late as Sade kills the uncle and she turns and runs.
Carter (Thomas Jane) is sitting in his farmhouse…he is drinking and writing a letter. Flashbacks take you back when he had a family,a loving wife and a little boy. The boy is playing in a field that Carter’s wife mentions needs to be cleaned up as several old pieces of equipment are left over from the old owners.
The boy is playing with a dog and a red balloon as Carter and his wife talk….when tragedy happens.
The house is now pretty much empty as Carter finishes his letter and suddenly sees a little girl running towards his house. Bird starts to explain what happened when suddenly Carter takes a bullet in his leg,he looks up to see Sade approaching the house,he grabs Bird and gets inside the house. When Sade comes barging in,Carter puts a shotgun shell into Sade’s gut from the second story and the standoff begins in earnest….
I got to be honest,I was so jazzed to see Laurence Fishburne as a bad ass again. While he makes a great leading man and plays good guy roles effortless,it’s when he plays a heavy that he really shines. He was great in the remake of “Assault on Precinct 13” and even better in “Bad Company”…and his assassin Sade really highlights just how evil he can be and even have a sliver of humanity left in the dark hole that is his heart.
And Thomas Jane matches him as Carter,willing to die to defend a 12 year old girl he has no ties to. Sade offers him his freedom “if he sends down the girl so he can finish his business” as Carter has yet to see him. Carter has a secret of his own and discovers in trying to save Bird,she perhaps is the salvation and redemption he is seeking.
Carter and Sade’s back and forth banter rings true and the anger,pain and desperation comes across cleanly as both men seek the other’s weakness.
The suspense only builds from here as director Adam Alleca makes his debut filming his own script. While there are plot holes,the chemistry between the small cast is magic,especially between Jane and Ella.
The score by Austin Wintory is beautiful and haunting. This is my second movie that I have watched that features his score and I am really liking him quite a bit.
The cheetah and I recommend this movie quite highly as we give it a paw/thumbs up.