Stars: ** 1/2
Rating: R for language and loads of violence
Run Time: 2 hours, 6 minutes
Yummy Mark Wahlberg turns a hackneyed action-adventure into a stand-up-and-take-notice thriller.
Special Forces Marine Bob Lee Swagger (mucho swaggering Wahlberg) buries himself in retirement after an Ethiopian intelligence mission goes south and his shooting partner ends up with a bullet in his brain. Ouch.
into Swagger’s self-imposed exile in the
Naturally it’s a cover for a more fiendish scheme and the cynical Swagger suddenly finds himself on the wrong end of the law. But what’s a little conspiracy when you’ve got the skills to take down the entire operation?
Joyfully silly sub-plots abound; Swagger joining forces with a disillusioned FBI rookie (Michael Peňa) who mistakenly uncovers a Big Internal Secret, Swagger seeking out his late partner’s wife (Kate Mara) for refuge and falling deeply in lust, etc.
charisma from every pore and sweat-glistened pec, no matter that they shoot him
short or that his dialogue is spoon-fed directly into the mouths of 18-25
year-old males, i.e. “Welcome to
Paranoia, betrayal, double-crosses and huge dollops of testosterone all accounted for as Swagger takes one for the team and still manages to elude the competition. Multiple climaxes finally settle on a way to end the damn thing and not a moment too soon. Bottom line the bad guys are bad and the guns are smokin’ hot; hey, that’s why they call it a thriller!