Alright, I don’t remember exactly when I stopped accepting mediocrity from these types of movies but “Without Remorse” is another reminder as to why I did. It often reminded me a lot of American Assassin, not just in execution but in story progression as well: shallow and self-congratulatory, refusing to justify its violence with character development or genre spectacle. But just when I thought I could classify it as generic and leave it at that, it ends up half-assing what should be insightful commentary at the end that REALLY pissed me the hell off in the later half.
No exaggeration, no less than half an hour in, I wanted to shut this shit off: this is literally like every other military, by-the-numbers, super government conspiracy movie out there where they overdo outdated patriotic tropes, force in certain franchise place settings and go completely overboard by trying to make a big deal out of a story that doesn’t make sense and leaves me with little reason to care even a presentation that’s decent at best. There’s no character development, a lot of patriotic posturing, there is run-of-the-mill dialogue that, in turn, puts more fault at the script’s half-hearted nature as opposed to the varying degrees of acting from a solid-as-always Michael B. Jordan, a surprisingly lively Jamie Bell and an unconvincing Jodie Turner-Smith and Guy Pearce. As well choreographed, spaced out and sometimes over-the-top the action sequences are, there’s no pulse or spark to any of them that persuaded me to look forward to the rest of them. There is an underwater sequence that succeeded in getting me to, at least, keep my eyes open long enough and a prison scene that ended being the best fight scene in the film but that’s about it. The music is boring, direction is meaningless, what are meant to be raw moments are dispatched cynically from a plot-device that leaves no impact on the rest of the plot’s foundation and then......THAT HAPPENS.
We have a villain unraveling that was meant to be misleading but I saw it coming notches away. The motivation for such a turn brings light to a truth that was off-handedly mentioned every once in a while but then it conjures up a stupid, idiotic and downright toxic excuse to sell to people of color that flat out ruins the appeal and left me It basically sums up to racism and partisan fighting existing because Americans are bored. YES, that is SERIOUSLY WHAT IT IMPLIES. I mean.....
I know I said that I’d rather be bored than enraged a long time ago but I’m starting to question myself on that. You don’t even know how many times I just glanced over at my phone waiting for this one-dimensional tripe to end.