Vin Diesel in a superhero movie doing more than voicing a walking tree. The expectation is that Vin’s ego makes him a brutal fighting machine with not much thought to the movie itself. Half right. The character is a strength based brute but the story is actually very clever.
It starts with a soldier (Vin – character name: Ray Garrison) disobeying orders in a dangerous situation as he tries to save hostages. Then we get a nice, happy scene of a holiday with our soldier and his woman enjoying themselves. That scene ends with an attack that leaves the soldier kidnapped. The villain is now introduced. A weirdly dressed madman dances to Talking Heads Psycho Killer as he goes to interrogate the now captive soldier. Bang, soldier is dead.
Not long after being killed, Ray wakes up to find out he’s been brought back to life with super strength and regenerative abilities. He has the power to search all sorts of databases and can self teach anything instantly. As you would expect, he goes out looking for revenge.
Then it turns out everything we know is wrong. Fairly decent setup so far.
It goes on to be quite a clever movie. The bad guys are predictable in how it all ends but how it gets there is really well done. The explanations for everything leave you questioning your understanding of the movie and some issues are cleared up along the way with little details being surprisingly significant.
There’s a decent amount of combat, not enough to become excessive and believable enough by the logic of the film that the viewer can enjoy it.
I found the characters to all be quite good. I was suspicious of the bad guys, I liked the good guys and Wigans was really good.
I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. It could be argued that it’s more of a robot movie than a superhero one but enhanced abilities in a human are fairly super. They borrowed ideas from the Matrix, Terminator, Spider-Man and probably others but it is a unique way of doing an easily guessable plot. How they do it keeps you guessing. Pretty good really.