CLOSE RANGE, directed by Isaac Florentine ( Undisputed 2-4, Ninja 1-2) and starring brit-kicker Scott Adkins (Undisputed 2-4, Ninja 1-2. The Expendables 2) is a short but sweet exercise in ass kicking. It has a nice mix of martial arts and shootouts in a Western setting ; the Mexican border.
The plot is there to string the set pieces together no question about that. But it is refresheingly honest about itself. You may go "That´s it?! THAT is the plot?! Jesus, that is thin!"
But if you do, this is most likely not for you. It is almost non-stop action. It barely set up a conflict then it is a go. It starts off great, with a long take of Scott Adkins kicking ass in close quarters, giving us a taste of what Mr John St Close-Range can do. He works best around people when they are close and when they are in range for his kicks or guns.
Yeah, you may say you like martial arts as you´ve enjoyed Daredevil. And there is plenty of good things to say about that show,, but this one, this Close Range is all about the action. The bland stereotype mexican gangsters that are cannon fodder here is nothing new. And it does not matter.
I don´t think most people who enjoy Daredevil would enjoy this. This does not shy away from being as blunt and direct about things as a kick to the head. And sometimes that is all you need. A good kick to the head. Some people actually do.
Sure some of the gunfights drag on a bit. An endless shooting at a house might not always be the most dynamic action sequence in the world. But would really a dialogue scene of the quality as they appear in this film be better? Fuck no.
Adkins carry himself well when he is a minimalistic stoic motherfucker, like when he plays Boyka in the Undisputeds and it works well here. He mostly get to kill and punch and kick the daylights out of people which is a great way of using Adkins.
What is a bad way of using Adkins, you might ask? The Bourne Ultimatum and fucking Zero Dark Thirty. There is a reason you don´t even remember him from either of those films.
Close Range is a pretty good showreel of Adkins talents. Nuff said.