"This is an intense thriller that keeps you guessing right to the very end, with a fantastic script and stellar performances from the three main players"
This dark thriller, starring Brian Gleeson and Damien Molony, has snuck under the radar despite featuring at both Tribeca Film Festival and the Edinburgh International Film Festival earlier this year.
Gleeson finally gets to come out the shadows cast by his brother Domhnall and father Brendan, both well-known actors, and prove he has the acting chops as well. He plays one of two mercenaries who are driving across the Iraqi desert in the dead of night on their way to perform a kidnapping for their boss.
The film begins very light-hearted with the duo exchanging witty banter and forming an unlikely bond as they make their way to their target, but cracks soon begin to show when past misdoings are uncovered and it becomes apparent there is another mission on the agenda – a deadlier one sent down from their bosses to them individually. Matters become progressively worse when they abduct Shadha (Sofia Boutella) and betrayals threaten to ruin the entire mission.
The script for this is remarkable. The film is completely driven by their characters and the mistakes they slowly reveal and the power play between them is incredible to watch. It is so well crafted and structured. You don’t know who is in control from one minute to the next – it shifts so quickly. You’re watching it thinking, ‘oh man, he’s going to kill him’ and then the situation completely changes from nowhere. It is amazing how it manages to keep you guessing for so long – there are so many secrets, double crossings and agendas that it’s quite hard to keep up with who has done the dirty on whom and if anyone is telling the truth.
The entire film rests primarily on the shoulders of the two Irish actors who blew me away with their performances. The film is so dialogue-heavy and the final third is staged in one location almost like a play and all the twists and turns and tension relies on those words. They must have done so much work to get the power struggle spot-on because it is ever changing and the audience is kept on their toes wondering what’s going to happen next and bracing themselves for bloodshed.
Boutella is best known for action roles in Star Trek Beyond and Kingsman: The Secret Service so it was interesting to see her emotional side as the abductee who may know more than you’d initially think. Her involvement is a game changer for the story and she’s very important and she proved she can do more than kick butt.
This is an intense thriller that keeps you guessing right to the very end, with a fantastic script and stellar performances from the three main players.