Alain Desrochers’ film pits Antonio Banderas’ security guard against Ben Kingsley’s ruthless gang leader as Assault On Precinct 13 meets Mallrats in this entertaining action thriller.
Didn’t ever think I’d say this phrase but prepare for Assault On Precinct 13 meets Mallrats (with a bit of Die Hard thrown in for good measure). I’m not sure I thought it was possible to find a happy mix of John Carpenter and Kevin Smith but a pat on the back for director Alain Desrochers for not only having the balls to attempt it but the talent to pull it off.
This “one night only” action-thriller boasts the sort of scene-chewing b-movie credentials you’ve witnessed before in 80s straight-to-video alongside the cosmetic sheen of corporate Americana. Dare I muse: Dawn Of The Dead in bed with that scene from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure when all the historical figures experience the mall for the first time. Or John McClane teaming up with Jay and Silent Bob to fight the biker gang from Streets Of Fire having just watched The A-Team for survival tips.
If it sounds like Security is going to be a lot of fun that’s because it is. Okay, it suffers from tonal discrepancies, doesn’t always remember to keep its tongue in cheek, and allows credibility to blow away in the wind, but Desrochers film understands its limitations and thrives off its thrilling high concept foundations.
Indeed, it couldn’t be any simpler. A former soldier (Antonio Banderas) struggling to make a living finds a job as a night guard at a middle-of-nowhere mall where a young girl arrives saying there’s someone wanting to kill her. He takes her in, discovers the “someone” is a well-armed, highly trained, bloodthirsty gang led by Ben Kingsley in “full ham” mode, and must use his extensive training, and whatever helpful accessories he can grab from the various shops, to protect the girl.
Like the speeding motorcade that powers through the night with its child passenger, a witness destined for court to testify against a major crime gang, Security puts its foot on the throttle and never eases back. Soon enough the government agents are outnumbered in a gun battle they cannot win. The child escapes as the agents are slaughtered. She happens across Banderas’ mall security guard and pleas for help. The bad guys know where she is though, and soon enough they’re knocking at the mall’s door too.
Banderas is aided by a group of fellow security guards, who wouldn’t look out of place in an Amy Heckerling teen movie. They proceed to lend a hand as best they can alongside frequent bouts of anxious moaning but we know they’re fodder in the ensuing battle. Credit to the sprightly performance of Liam McIntyre who tries to give the clueless bunch a dose of machismo. But it pales in comparison to Banderas who finds his inner mariachi to mix hand-to-hand combat with blazing guns. He even enjoys one of those only-in-the-movies moments. With guns in either hand, he goes for a floor slide, shooting down villains in motion.
Technically, Security is a triumph; a trashy, flawed, warts and all, triumph but an entertaining guilty pleasure nonetheless. Banderas and Kingsley offer gravitas in name rather than performance but their presence adds weight to Desrochers motoring thrills. His pacing, sense of humour and aesthetic histrionics add a glossy finish to deafening plot holes and while the ending doesn’t match the likes of Hans Gruber falling from the Nakatomi Tower you’ve had enough fun along the way not to care. Security is a winner in the best B-movie tradition.
Written by Dan Stephens
Directed by: Alain Desrochers
Written by: Tony Mosher, John Sullivan
Starring: Ben Kingsley, Antonio Banderas, Liam McIntyre
Top 10 Films reviewed Security on DVD courtesy of Arrow Films. The film is released on DVD on July 3, 2017.