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Review: All the Devil’s Men

— by RON WILKINSON —

Where do all the ex-special elite military go? If we believe writer/director Matthew Hope they engage in careers as mercenary bounty hunters, double cross each other and all quickly eliminated. That is, until there is only one left standing. Presumably he goes on to the next caper and more are eliminated. It takes a lot of bullets to kill them, too many in this flick, but a couple decent twists and turns in the plot keep things interesting.

America’s CIA apparently is running the show, but only barely. That turns out to be one of the more believable point plots in the movie. William Fichtner is the only person doing real acting and he does not do that much of it. If you love his wild and crazy GI Joe super-thug antics, better watch “Blackhawk Down” again and give this one a miss.

Model Sylvia Hoeks gives it a good shot as CIA mastermind Leigh. Looking simply smashing, she is doomed to sit in a room full of suspiciously fake looking computers. Too cute for the job, just as the computers look a little too good to be real. This is an ongoing problem for the production, which is long on car chases and expended ammunition but short on believable plot. It is too easy for everyone to pull intel out of the sky. No fog of war here.

Even so, it takes a lot of bullets to kill anyone. Especially the good guys who are crouching and running completely in the open for the longest times, while the bullets fly. This makes for fun action scenes, what with the wonderful big guns and the well done streams of spent casings coming out of them at just the right angle. Even if it is CGI it is visually striking.

Milo Gibson gets his chance to shine in his first leading role and he does fine considering. He appears to have been told to grit his teeth and he turns out to be good at it. As a PTSD veteran his character Collins represents an important story, but the ending is unclear as to what he does with it. So no message there. He starts out popping pills and ignoring his family and there is little reason to think this changes.

Gbenga Akinnagbe gets some good screen time and makes the most of it. The veteran action actor sharpened his wits with the big boys in “The Taking of Pelham 123” (2009) and “Edge of Darkness” (2010) and it shows. “Darkness” was done with Milo’s pop, Mel.

The rest of the characters are paper cut-outs that come, go, and double cross each other almost too often for the eye to follow. As it turns out in such movies, by the end we are happy to see it all over, with the victor flying into the sunset. In a plane with an atom bomb in a suitcase headed for an unknown destination. Looked like the same one James Bond used three decades ago.

Rating: 7/10

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