Top positive review
Groundhog Day as action-comdedy (and it works!)
Reviewed in Canada on May 21, 2021
Synopsis: An ex-Special Forces badass (Frank Grillo) finds himself in a time loop where he's hunted by an array of zany assassins sent by a megalomaniac CEO (Mel Gibson). In Groundhog Day fashion, the hero will experience the same day thousands of times. He'll have to figure out what's going on, grow as a person and save the day.
My take: Upbeat, fun and silly.
I took notice of Joe Carnahan (Boss Level's director) when I saw Smockin' Aces. JC is good at making lighthearted, tightly paced action movies with charismatic actors. As such, Frank Grillo (the protagonist) is perfectly cast as a badass who goes from reluctant to determined. Grillo (Captain America Civil War) gets to shine as the lead. He's a legit badass who handles fights and chases like a boss (pun intended). He also gets to show his drama chops when acting opposite Naomi Watts, who plays his estranged ex-wife, and his own son in real life, whom he's trying to reconnect with after years of absence. Comedians Will Sasso and Ken Jeong enhance the movie's comedic value without overstaying their welcome. Mel Gibson is sinister without trying yet contributes a few chuckles. The budget is limited but the imagination on display is not. The viewer's interest is maintained with an adroit blend of humour, action, and drama. The title and opening sequence attempt to use a video game motif but it feels like an afterthought, as the characters are caught in a time loop, not a game. No other video game references are made beside a scene in an arcade.
Overall, great entertainment.