Popcorn fodder for the barely invested masses, 211 is disposable, forgettable and most upsetting of all a waste of time and money.
This might be described as End of Watch meets Black Hawk Down but that does a disservice to both films. This copybook genre trot is not only derivative, transparent and shockingly average, but truncated, poorly scripted and just plain lazy. York Shackleton might have directed this farce but 211 feels like it was written on the lamb, in transit, using flashlights by people who frequent certain websites and mainline Moon Dew. This bad piece of fanboy fiction takes a perfectly good premise then waters it down until even Nicolas Cage’s hairline requires Rogaine.
Highly trained mercenaries going after laundered cash, misunderstood teenagers in the wrong place at the wrong time, bank managers days away from retirement and imminently pregnant spouses. These are the stereotypes, this is the territory and thank god I was watching this for free. Nauseating camerawork filled with intrusive close ups, whip pans and barely level steady cam help things even less. 211 might be the shorthand for a robbery in progress but to my mind whoever financed this diabolical genre rip off has been sold down the river.
Cage, who remains a great actor, will appear in anything these days. His output maybe prolific but quality control is not a watch word he lives by. People who gravitate towards these movies do so because they enjoy watching Cage go off the chain, do bug-eyed crazy and create havoc from thin air. With the rare exception, however, those days are behind him and you get the sense that a pay cheque means more than most character arcs. 211 is a lamentable waste of time which is alleviated only because Cage seems to be suffering along with his audience. Vacuous dialogue and female co-stars who wander around spouting meaningless lines in accents which have no point of ethnic origin make things worse.
There is minimal character investment and no points of crisis or threat which feel fresh on any level. Popcorn fodder for the barely invested masses, 211 is disposable, forgettable and most upsetting of all a waste of time and money. An entertainment choice for those with more money than sense.
Written by Martin Carr
Directed by: York Shackleton
Written by: York Shackleton, John Rebus
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Cory Hardrict, Michael Rainey Jr., Ori Pfeffer
Released: 2018 / Genre: Action
Country: UK / IMDB
More reviews: Latest | Archive
211 is out now on digital download and DVD.