When diplomacy and military action both fail for America in a foreign country, in comes agent James Silva (Mark Wahlberg) with his team of exceptionally skilled black ops soldiers who operate in a grey area shooting out bad guys until all of them are dead.
The plot of the film is ridiculously simple; Silva has to take a defecting Russian agent out of the American embassy in Indonesia and put him on an airplane to America. It is made interesting by throwing in legions of bad guys on motorcycles as they shoot up Silva and his team. Action wise, the film reminds you of the Bourne series. However, this time, the one doing the skillful hand-to-hand combat is Iko Uwais (from ‘Raid’), the Indonesian John Abraham! He’s a human Swiss knife who can take on scores of enemies while handcuffed. It’s ironic that he is the target to be saved because he clearly doesn’t seem like a guy who needs much saving.
While the action is slick and the hacking technology employed will make any one nervous, there is a huge element of monotony in the film. The hail of bullets, after a point, becomes white noise as you wait for the plot to unfold. There is an interesting takeaway, but the overly simplistic plot spoils that.
At a time when espionage films are becoming more realistic with complex characters, Mark Wahlberg’s act one-dimensional act as the angry, foul-mouthed agent seems rather lazily written. John Malkovich with his traditional slow drawl fits the bill as the master of the operation. Loren Cohen’s role as Alice Kerr, a mother separated from her daughter because of her work, is rousing. Ronda Rousey’s character, on the other hand, is completely wasted. Give her some fights to fight!
If you’re a fan of action movies and don’t want to dwell much on the manner that the action unfolds, this one may be up your alley. While there are plans for a sequel to the film, we hope they are well-written considering the film’s plot shows a lot of promise.