REVIEW: “Dangerous” (2021)

Production designer turned director David Hackl helms the new film “Dangerous”, a kooky action thriller that starts with some real promise. But the story (written by Chris Borrelli) quickly comes unglued and ventures into territory too silly to take seriously. It takes an appealing cast and gives them unappealing characters, leaving them with the unenviable task of moving the audience to actually care about what we’re seeing. Sadly, we never do.

Scott Eastwood plays Dylan Forrester, a former Navy SEAL on parole for murder. He’s also a sociopath who pops lithium like TicTacs and frequently calls his lush of a therapist Dr. Alderwood (Mel Gibson) to talk him through his unwholesome urges. Eastwood borrows his legendary father’s cold and terse screen delivery to portray a character unable to feel emotion or have empathy. And while his meds keep his impulses (mostly) under control, Dylan’s non-existent social skills stick out like a sore thumb during any conversation.

The story is one that hinges on a number of contrivances. It gets underway after Dylan learns his brother Sean, who was opening a bed-and-breakfast on Guardian Island off the coast of Washington, has died. Supposedly it was the result of an accident on some scaffolding, but an unwelcome visitor to Dylan’s apartment says otherwise. So he breaks parole and heads to his brother’s place to pay his respects.

Image Courtesy of Lionsgate

Dylan arrives at his Sean’s wake and is immediately greeted by his estranged mother Linda (Brenda Bazinet), a toxic one-note curmudgeon who’s quick to share her disdain for her living son while praising her saintly dead one. A cautious but more hospitable Susan (Leanne Lapp), Sean’s wife, breaks the ice by welcoming Dylan as does her son Freddy (Atlee Smallman). Also at the wake is Sean’s old college buddy Massey (Brendan Fletcher) and the scowling super-serious Sheriff McCoy (Tyrese Gibson in a glorified cameo).

But if family tension wasn’t enough, a well-armed mercenary named Cole (Kevin Durand) and his generic goon squad arrives on the island and lays siege on Sean’s B&B. There’s something in the house that he wants, but no one seems to know what it is. Meanwhile FBI Special Agent Shaughnessy (played by a seemingly uninterested Famke Janssen) tracks the parole-hopping Dylan to Guardian Island. It all leads to a predictable showdown where the gunplay (much like the eventual revelations) is as underwhelming as it is uninspired.

Eastwood does what he can with a role that more or less demands a cold detached performance. Mel Gibson steals a handful of scenes while Durand hams it up as the film’s bland baddie. Janssen seems as bored as we are and Tyrese Gibson isn’t on screen long enough to leave an impression. In other words, a nice cast gets lost in a movie that feature more cliches than thrills. I do think there’s a way to turn this fairly conventional idea into something fun and entertaining. But what we get with “Dangerous” ends up being the exact opposite. “Dangerous” is now available on VOD.

VERDICT – 1.5 STARS

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