Title – Boss Level (2020)
Director – Joe Carnahan (The Grey)
Cast – Frank Grillo, Naomi Watts, Mel Gibson, Michelle Yeoh, Annabelle Wallis, Ken Jeong
Plot – Retired special forces officer Roy Pulver (Grillo) is trapped reliving one singular day in his life where a group of deadly assassins will stop at nothing to end his life. The mother of his child Jemma (Watts) and her devious boss Col. Clive Ventor (Gibson) potentially hold the answers to Pulver’s predicament.
“I use to complain that everyday felt the same…now everyday is the same”
Review by Eddie on 10/03/2021
Originally planned for a 2019 cinematic release, scrapped to a 2020 date only to disappear off the radar entirely and saved by streaming service Hulu (cinemas here in Australia) who paid a handsome sum to release this $45 million dollar production from the Hollywood dumping ground, Joe Carnahan’s time loop actioner Boss Level did well to see the light of day, even if the end result suggests we weren’t missing out on much had it never made its way into our lounges.
Having one of the most up and down careers behind the camera in recent history, Joe Carnahan has delivered great highs with the likes of his impressive cop thriller Narc and misunderstood classic The Grey but also plunged to fairly average depths with the likes of The A-Team, Stretch and Smokin’ Aces with Boss Level sitting comfortably in the lower-tier of his filmography despite a decent start and some solid set-up work.
Not doing a lot to differentiate itself from fellow time loop thrillers like Edge of Tomorrow or Deja Vu, a lot about Boss Level feels familiar and at the start it appears as though its doing its best to try something else with a dry Deadpool light humor courtesy of the sick of dying Frank Grillo as Roy Pulver but what starts out as a fun and over the top bout of high-kinetic energy very quickly gives way to a dry story of corporate meddling and a plot that starts to take itself far too seriously.
Proving again that he can handle a set-piece or two, Boss Level’s video game like action and carnage is initially enough to win us over and the colorful array of assassins hellbent on taking Culver out is joyously executed (dwarfs with explosions!) but once Roy tries harder to unlock the mysteries of his time loop problem and deals with his on and off again lover (played by a slumming it Naomi Watts) and Mel Gibson’s bland baddie Col. Clive Ventor, Boss Level becomes more of a chore than a treat.
It feels somewhat like a unloved movie, one that started out with positive intentions and dreams to be a thrilling slice of high concept indulgence but just as the studios that dumped it must have thought, that sentiment changed along the line as Carnahan’s latest fizzler found itself devoid of any spark.
Final Say –
The time loop action/thriller has been done better before as Boss Level’s video game inclined delivery gets lost in a dull plot and an increasingly po-faced exercise.
2 early morning choppers out of 5
You got me with Joe Carnahan, doubly so with that cast. I’m just wondering how I get to watch this over here in the UK and wondering why, again, this is something I have never even heard of until now. The Grey is one of my favourite films. Clearly this one isn’t up there with Carnahan’s best but hey, even Ridley Scott has his bad days.
I’m not a big fan of all these various streaming services locking all sorts of material behind pay walls and region restrictions, and Covid clearly isn’t helping.
So glad you love The Grey also mate. One of my favourite films.
All these streaming services is certainly making it hard to keep track of everything.
I thought this was going to come out on vod here then it was just randomly dumped into cinemas.
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