Strip cop Frank Penny (Aaron Eckhart, ” Incarnate – Devilish Obsession “) is a cowboy as he says in the book. That’s why he doesn’t hesitate for a second when a man who has fled the police shows up in his precinct. When he catches the criminal and kills in self-defense, he learns more about his background: He has just shot a kidnapper of the daughter of Police Chief Volk (Giancarlo Esposito, ” This Is Your Death “) and thus the only lead. The other kidnapper (Ben McKenzie) takes this as an opportunity to ignite a deadly countdown: the girl has to die in 64 minutes. Followed by ambitious blogger Ava Brooks (Courtney Eaton, ” Gods of Egypt “) Penny takes on the chase.
Review: It sounds like classic 90s action fun: an armed alpha male has to save a young girl with a completely different sidekick in a fight against the clock. Paired with a prominent cast around the almost always rewarding Aaron Eckhart, little should go wrong. When looking at the director’s post, fans of Action-B entertainment of the last few years are likely to stumble: Steven C. Miller had with films like ” Escape Plan 2 – Hades ” (number 1 on the big-screen reporter flop list of 2018 occupied), ” First Kill ” and ” Arsenal“To answer for only uninspired, cheaply produced works, in which a few well-known names could not hide the lack of talent behind the camera through a lack of substance. It is precisely this knitting pattern that is all too obvious in “Line of Duty”.
An actually simple story makes so little sense from the first minute that most viewers are likely to be too confused to be able to enjoy what is shown as a simple action roller coaster. So the action, which seems absolutely arbitrary, stumbles from one incoherent part to the next, whereby entertainment value only wants to come up with a handful of solid fighting sequences. The flat figures are bursting with cliches and mostly lack any charm – which is underlined by hideous dialogues. Aaron Eckhart, who can be a gifted actor with the right material, is only to be pitied. He is clearly trying to make Penny a functioning action hero, which is why he gives full throttle in every scene. At most is by his sideBen McKenzie, who is allowed to venture into unusually dark terrain, to note something like fun.
The two “journalists” / vegan hipster conspiracy theorists who delight this film with arrogance, convoluted world saver fantasies, open support for anti-vaccination opponents and unironically meant sayings such as “That’s Deep, Sis” or “XOXO… Carpe Diem” – and as positive hero characters are to be accepted – are among the most unbearable characters of the film year so far. Courtney Eaton has as a sidekick from tough Penny who has to drive an electric car because of her (funny…), neither chemistry with the protagonist nor any real added value for the plot. Jessica Luis the second “investigative reporter” / “computer expert” who always provides the right information and the necessary exposure with “hacks”, the Deus-ex-Machina tool, if the script once again doesn’t know what to do next. Giancarlo Esposito and Dina Meyer are given away completely.
In spite of an honorable leading actor and a few successful action moments, Steven C. Miller continues his series of barely tolerable genre works seamlessly. “Line of Duty” is a confused, annoying and sometimes aggressively stupid cliché festival that neglects its potential as easily digestible no-brain entertainment.
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