Sunday, May 24, 2015

In short: The Night Crew (2015)

Bounty hunters Wade (Luke Goss), Rose (Luciana Faulhaber), Crenshaw (Bokeem Woodbine) and Ronnie (Paul Sloan) are tasked with getting a certain Mae (Chasty Ballesteros) out of Mexico to the US for bail bonds reasons. For reasons unexplained, that’s supposed to make their partner and boss enough money to be able to avoid being killed by Armenian gangsters.

Unfortunately, the job is a wee bit more complicated than they thought: when first they meet Mae, she’s just about to be killed by some Mexican gangsters working for cartel boss and creep Aguilar (Danny Trejo). Obviously, getting Mae out of the country will pose more of a problem than our heroes expected, seeing as they have to cope with Aguilar’s rather shoot-happy men, a woman who’d really rather not be transported to the US by them, and – worst of all – their own stupidity.

That’s not quite enough to fill a whole film, though, so there’s also the mysterious supernatural secret Mae is carrying around, as well as a love triangle between three of the bounty hunters.

Christian Sesma’s The Night Crew has a lot of the problems endemic to contemporary low budget action movies produced for the home video market: the dialogue’s generally stupid, as is the plot, there’s not much money for decent sets or locations, and visually, you get the usual combination of bleached out colours and a camera that just won’t stop wobbling drunkenly during the action scenes, which – to no one’s surprise – doesn’t exactly make them look any better or more convincing.

Still, I found myself enjoying the thing more than many films of its ilk, mostly for the handful of moments when the usual cheese turns quite fragrant (like the absurd posing in the moment before Sesma decides to not show us the climactic boss fight which you can either explain by the film’s budget not containing a position for “Danny Trejo, action scene” or a sudden interest in being avantgarde), and its honest, sometimes semi-successful attempts at creating a bleak and spooky mood through murky darkness and shady surroundings. I can also only commend the way The Night Crew employs its horror elements – unapologetic, boneheaded and with the gestures of someone who has had a very bad idea, shrugs, and just goes with it. Alright, that  might still doesn’t sound like much of a recommendation but when it comes to direct-to-DVD movies of the moment, I much prefer one like that has a cheesy idea and goes with it to the more usual kind that just doesn’t want to have any ideas – good or bad – at all.

No comments: