Tuesday, 7 October 2014

On 7.10.14 by KieronMoore in , , , ,    No comments

It’s easy to forget that Nicolas Cage has made good films. Leaving Las Vegas, Bad Lieutenant, this year’s Joe. The DVD cover for Tokarev tries to remind us of this, proudly showing off its “Academy Award Winner” of a star. The film itself does its best to make us forget this.

Cage plays Paul Maguire, an overly controlling father with a rough past and a very particular set of skills. One day, his house is broken into and his daughter is taken. You wouldn’t be mistaken if you assumed that the film’s taken some liberties and taken its plot directly from another popular action thriller…

Now, Taken isn’t perfect, but compared to Tokarev, it’s the Citizen Kane of shoot-em-up exploitation. The writers here seem to have entirely missed what made Taken suspenseful. Without spoiling too much, the kidnapping plot is wrapped up way too early, with a twist that feels like a midpoint coming about half an hour in, meaning that Maguire spends much of the film with no clear objective other than being a massive knob. He's not an action hero, he’s a bully. At one point, he strangles his wife. We’re meant to root for this guy.

Tokarev is 98 minutes of arseholes shouting at other arseholes. The action’s boring, the dialogue’s shoddy, the men are depthless, and the women are all strippers or victims. On the positive side, there’s an amazing contribution to any future ‘Nicolas Cage loses his shit’ YouTube montages.


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