Monday, March 8, 2010

Recoil (1998) * * *

Cast:Gary Daniels, Gregory McKinney, Robin Curtis, Kelly McCarty

Directed by Art Camacho

Gary Daniels stars in a Death Wish inspired revenge film that finds Daniels marked for death by the mob (After accidently killing the mobster’s son) to retaliate the mobsters send their assassins and goons to put Daniels on ice, however when they succeed in killing Daniels’ family, Daniels seeks vengeance in the coldest way possible, while his ex-police partner (McKinney) tells him to do it by the book. Recoil is a better than average Gary Daniels movie (and a decent straight to video action flick) but it’s not quite on the level of Rage, The Sweeper and Last Man Standing. The biggest reason is the casting of Gary Daniels. While Gary Daniels has some natural screen presence and sharp martial artistry he is just too clean cut to really look like he could get revenge in the meanest way. A far better actor for this movie would’ve been Dolph Lundgren or Jeff Wincott, someone far grittier and while Recoil works as what it’s sold as, I found that the leading man was just too goody-goody to sell the concept. That aside the action sequences are well staged (although the motorcycle chase in the beginning needed to be edited down) and as usual PM puts in the usual kitchen sink approach at action but ultimately the film needed that emotional center that Howell and Wincott brought to their roles in The Sweeper and Last Man Standing. Also what I found somewhat strange was the lack of martial arts sequences, which you think would’ve been frequent due to the presence of Gary Daniels. Also of note is that the best performance is from McKinney who doesn’t get nearly enough screen time. Another plus is that the mobsters are also well played and indeed you connect with their revenge plight more so than Daniels, which I’m fairly sure is not the intention. However as sheer action Recoil works and while I do so with reservations, I still recommend it.

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