Thomas Jane is one of those good actors that as of late has been doing more straight to home release films than much else with some of them working and other not so much. His latest Standoff has him teaming up with Laurence Fishburne, but does this game of cat and mouse manage to deliver a standoff worth seeing or should one of them have just walked away?
Standoff follows a troubled veteran who gets a chance at redemption by protecting a 12 year-old girl from an assassin after she witnesses a murder. Holding a shotgun with a single shell, he engages in physical and psychological warfare in a desperate fight for the girl’s life. The story to this film is pretty simple and had it not been handled could have been pretty bad, but thankfully it ended up working fairly well. Sure there are aspects when you have a film like this that you don’t understand some of the decisions the characters make, but you can put that off to the side. Instead of a full on action film it plays a lot more of the psychological warfare to let that push the story of these two men’s conflicts forward. The little girl that is the catalyst to the entire situation is played effectively by Joanna Douglas who doesn’t have a ton of dialogue, but does bring some needed emotion to the role. There are times you would expect her to be way more upset or scared and it would have been a lot more overall effective, but that is something that was clearly not the direction they wanted for the character. Jane is really good here bringing his usual tough guy attitude but mixed with a strong emotional struggle from his personal tragedy that drives his need to help this little girl. Fisheburne is great as well and looks like he is having a blast with this insane character. At times his performance is over the top by design and makes you believe this guy is insane. There isn’t as much action as you might expect, but it still manages to keep you intrigued until the very end.
Where this film does miss the mark is that it is pretty predictable and never fully tries to twist things to help it get a more original feel to it. While it is worth checking out in the end it still feels pretty average and isn’t all that hard to figure out where it is heading and how it will likely end. If you are a fan of either of these guys and enjoy a good old school revenge style standoff then give this film a try.
Step in the middle of this Standoff when it hits Blu-ray and DVD on April 12th from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.