Kickboxing and low budget action movie legend Gary Daniels has been making movies most people have never seen for the last 25 years. He’s on the other side of 50 now, but being an old action hero doesn’t necessarily mean you should hang up your prop gun and stop kicking guys in the head. Jean Claude Van Damme is also over 50, Steven Seagal is over 60 and well into his 70s, Chuck Norris is the action Methuselah! But your movies have to try to hide your advanced years, not call attention to it!
Gary’s DEA agent Cole is so tired during Misfire that there’s not one, but two scenes of him taking a nap! And in one of them he was so exhausted, he pretty much was comatose when his sexy photojournalist partner climbed on top of him for an impromptu make out session! Maybe you should stop at the 7-11 and pick up some 5 Hour Energy before you go raiding one of the cartel’s properties just to make sure you don’t nod off in the middle of flashing special op signs during the extraction of your ex-wife from the clutches of the evil Cesar.
Cole’s mission is to rescue his ex-wife from a drug kingpin? So she was TAKEN? I’ll admit that when I saw the trailer for Misfire that I thought it was going to be Gary as Liam Neeson in Taken. You know, the best there is at being a bad ass whose loved one was snatched and now he has to use all his training to rescue her.
How great was it going to be to finally see an authentic tough guy (be honest Taken/Unknown/Nonstop fans – Gary vs. Liam wouldn’t exactly be Ali vs. Frazier) single-handedly dismantle the entire Mexican drug business because he doesn’t want his alimony being spent on strippers and blow by cartel thugs?
So when Misfire constantly lived up to its title in dull scene after dull scene of Gary talking, running a little, getting involved in a shootout once in awhile that was usually shot in such a way as to minimize the action as much as possible, I was extremely disappointed that it was nothing like Taken and in fact made me embarrassed for Gary that a fake movie tough guy 10 years older than him like Liam could out perform him in an action movie!
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m a Gary Daniels guy (how could I take The Expendables seriously when it only took Jason Statham and Jet Li to kill Gary’s character instead of all the Expendables?) and it’s nice to see him back to making anonymous straight-to-video action movies after an unfortunate detour into Christian movies (I watched The Encounter: Paradise Lost and would have sold my freaking soul if Gary would have kicked the guy playing Jesus in the head just once), but protect your image, Gary! You’re basically playing a narcoleptic who got cuckolded by his own brother! What happened to the guy who teamed up with Sugar Ray Leonard in the likes of Riot?
But even if Gary had the energy of ten Liam Neesons it wouldn’t have been enough to breathe any life into Misfire‘s confusing conglomeration of cartel cliches. Cole gets a call from his brother that the wife he stole from Cole was kidnapped and he was framed for her murder. Cole is of course on suspension for shooting an undercover Mexican cop during the movie’s overlong prologue so he has time to go down and investigate.
His ex is a journalist working on a story about a cartel kingpin who is running for mayor. The kingpin is currently sort of feuding with his son who is trying to take over his business while he runs for office. Meanwhile millions of dollars in bearer bonds have been stolen from these guys and somehow they know Cole’s ex has them so they take her in an effort to get her to disclose where she’s hidden them.
After an eternity of tracking people down and talking to his obnoxious DEA buddy, Cole seemingly just says “screw it” and has his sexy partner dress up as a whore and lure the bad guy into a restroom where Cole takes him prisoner so he can exchange him for his ex.
I don’t know if the plot was in Spanish or what because I didn’t know the point of a lot that went on. There was a kid who was informant, but I was never sure what they got out of him. The DEA buddy never provided anything worthwhile to the story. The drug cartel guy running for mayor that the ex was trying to expose was never dealt with. The brother was taken from his jail cell and was presumably killed off camera. And we almost never laid eyes on Cole’s ex which made caring about what happened to her even harder than when we just knew she cheated on Cole with his brother.
An effort was made to have Misfire look like one of these modern day action thrillers with its over-saturated color palette and shaky camera work masquerading as realism, but minus any action, plus a lame story, and a uninspired filmmaking style that couldn’t even figure out how to properly showcase what tiny dollops of action the production could afford.
Misfire is a mindnumbingly miserable experience and when it finally ended with an absurdly out of place acoustic emo song as Cole walked away from the camera, I realized that Gary Daniels was still a legitimate action hero because while he may have fallen asleep twice during the movie, a regular guy like me fell asleep four or five times!
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