Department of Defense Special Agent Tom (Adam Cardon) has been tasked with putting together a special team to thwart a potential plot to build and detonate a nuclear device in the United States. His team consists of an elite mix of scientists and soldiers, and the search is on for the mercenaries behind the potential nuclear attack, who are also an exceptional team, more than up to the task of defending themselves against their pursuers.
When it comes to action, Drew Hall’s Sons of Liberty delivers. The gunfights and action sequences are polished and top-notch, offering all that we’ve come to expect from a Michael Bay-type of experience (and that includes use of slow motion). When the film goes high energy, it is at its best.
Unfortunately, those moments are not as plentiful as one might hope. For the majority of the time, the film instead gives us something closer to what we might see in an episode of NCIS. A very convoluted episode of NCIS.
See, the narrative here isn’t the easiest to follow, from the expository text in the (incredible) opening credits to the final resolution. If you key in on the simplest of broad strokes, you can passably make it through (that’s the good guy, he’s the comic relief, she’s the evil bad a*s, etc), but it’s hard to fully engage when you’re getting confused by the specifics. For one, the film is full of characters, both on our heroic SOL team, in the cell they’re hunting, the puppetmasters behind the scenes… it’s hard to keep track of everyone, let alone really understand character motivations.
On top of that, the film splits the narrative between the obvious “hunt down the nuclear weapon elements” main plot and a “serial killer on the loose” subplot. Sure, everything eventually (and far too conveniently) connects, but initially it’s just odd. I get wanting to make the film more than just the simple hunt for the renegade group, a la G.I. Joe hunting Cobra, but it doesn’t fit in all that well.
But these are crimes of ambition. The filmmakers clearly wanted to pack a lot into their film, and they did. Again, the action sequences are superb, the cinematography is wonderful, the opening credits sequence is quite memorable and the whole cinematic experience could easily fit into your local multiplex; if this film had larger names in its cast, you’d probably be seeing this as a wide release in a theater.
The technical know-how and execution is all there; clearly, the filmmakers involved with this film are very capable. I think they tried to jam too much into their plot, and they undermined any real connection the audience could build for their characters. If your brain is spinning too much trying to understand what the folks on screen are talking about, for example, it’s hard to find the time to really care.
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