Why do you keep doing this to me Nicolas Cage? There used to be a golden time where when he was good, he was amazing, and when he was bad, he still managed to freakin’ amazing. He was one of the most entertaining people to watch in movies at that time. But then as time gone on, that Cage magic was spread far too thin as he starred in many lame B-movies, most of which ended up on straight-to-DVD releases. It wasn’t much fun anymore, and that is definitely the case with 211.
Right off the bat, the script for this film is horrible with a lot of stilted dialogue and being delivered awkwardly by actors who just can’t bring life to it whatsoever, resulting in a huge acting disaster on screen. It’s clear that writer/director York Shackleton was trying to force character development whenever it’s needed, but throughout this movie, we don’t are or empathise with any character that enters the scene, nor do we have any reason to care about them. The way stereotypes are used in this movie are borderline ridiculous and very clichéd; the police department act like a bunch of dumb boobs, makes veterans look like unhinged killers, shows the stereotypical white bullies beating up on a black kid, that same kid is tasked to be a ride-along in the back of a police cruiser, we have a female Interpol agent, and so on.
The action is lacklustre and lacks any real momentum or pace so it comes off as a generic by-the-numbers action shootout that you’ve seen a million times before with nothing new added. The cinematography isn’t that much better either as it comes off like a TV movie filmed on video or something that was filmed on your iPhone, and some of the editing is atrocious. The acting across the board is fine-ish at best with Nic Cage just droning his way through his performance, plus the ever-talented Sophie Skelton (her from Ren and Outlander fame) is completely wasted in a very thankless role.
Frankly, this movie is so bland and forgettable that it doesn’t deserve a longer review or analysis, so in a way, it’s not the most wretched film you’ll ever experience. But even then, 211 is no just no fun to be had and something you can easily avoid.
Dir: York Shackleton
Scr: York Shackleton
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Cory Hardrict, Michael Rainey Jr., Ori Pfeffer, Weston Cage, Sophie Skelton
Prd: Isaac Florentine, Jeffrey Greenstein, Les Weldon, Jonathan Yunger
DOP: Alexander Krumov
Music: Frederik Wiedmann
Runtime: 86 mins
211 is out on DVD on July 23rd.