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Boss Level - Film Review

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by May Cross (subscribe)
I'm a writer, artist and keen photographer.
Published February 23rd 2021
Groundhog Day meets Assassins

Boss Level is not only a high level in gaming, it is also a new American action movie. Every morning Captain Roy Pulver (Frank Grillo) wakes up to what he calls (ironically) " Mr Good Morning" who is a machete-wielding madman. Maybe that was fun for a while but after about 140 times he has had enough. It's the same thing every day with slight variations; the only thing that never changes is that he dies every single day.

This is a day Roy is doomed to repeat a la Groundhog Day, but without the cuddly animals. If you haven't seen Groundhog Day, it is a funny 1993 movie starring the incomparable Bill Murray, who relives the same day over, and over, and over and over again. There have been a few movies made in this Sci Fi time-loop genre such as Live. Die. Repeat with Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise, and more recently Russian Doll, an enjoyable Netflix series.

As you may expect from an action movie, this one is bloody and has a high body count mostly Roy's. Death and destruction follow him around and you know he is never going to get his bond back. He has no idea why a team of highly trained assassins has targeted him. He gives them names such as Kaboom, Smiley and Pam, and they always find him. He even has a doppelganger. They have a variety of weapons such as guns (of course), knives, swords, bombs and so on. Bazooka? Tick. My favourite assassin (if one can have such a thing) was "the Goddess of Mercy" as I love swordplay, and she has some good lines. And the other female Asian sword master is excellent. Reminded me of the two Kill Bill films, which I loved. The director, Joe Carnahan, pays homage to Quentin Tarantino throughout. There's a fun little reference to Indiana Jones too.

As well as gun fights, there are car chase scenes aplenty. I especially liked the car scenes with the modern gold Dodge Charger sports car he hijacks, with Pam in hot pursuit. The action scenes are what this movie is all about and they are mostly very good. The CGI not so much. Gamers will enjoy seeing some of the vintage video games in a cheap arcade.

Roy is an over-achiever who makes up for his lack of talent, according to villainous Colonel Clive Ventor (Mel Gibson), head of the amusingly named Dynow Laboratories. However, Roy looks to be in great shape to me, despite his drinking habits (our hero is drinking Glen Edmonds whisky? I've never heard of it.) He may be a selfish womaniser, but he is determined and wants to succeed. He's a bad-ass ex-soldier with a particular set of skills, shall we say. He lives (and dies) and learns, and decides that his best course of action is revenge, not surprisingly.

Naomi Watts ably plays Dr Jemma Wells, a Research and Development scientist, and the mother of Roy's son Joe. It's hard to believe she is 52. I always thought she was Australian, but she is actually British and has an English accent in this movie. I think we claimed her as an Aussie, same as we did with Mel Gibson.

As befits a movie based on the manipulation of the time-space continuum, many of the songs are about time such as If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time: "if I had a chance to start all over again". But as we know time waits for no man. Or does it? Can this tough guy stop it? It's definitely a race against the clock.

Overall, I enjoyed this movie as it wasn't pretending to be anything more than a fun, gory, action flick, which it accomplished. My only real criticism is the ending. The resolution was very weak and I suspect the makers were attempting a cliffhanger finish so that they can do a sequel. However, I think we have seen enough. It would feel like Groundhog Day if we were expected to sit through more of the same.

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Why? Another action-packed movie
When: In cinemas on 25 February.
Your Comment
Great review May, great to be the first to read it, promotes the movie effectively.
by T. A. Rose (score: 2|213) 53 days ago
by Jen on 17/02/2021
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