People who haven't seen this movie yet are probably wondering why it isn't liked more. After all, it has all the markings of a great and fun action movie, reminiscent of genre movies from the '80's. But being a movie in the vein of action flicks from the '80's is one thing but being a truly good and effective one is a whole different thing.
There are several reasons why this movie just doesn't work out as one of the most effective or memorable revenge/action movies. First of all- and this maybe was the biggest problem that I had with this movie, there is absolutely never a sense of true urgency or danger anywhere to be found anywhere throughout this movie. It's therefor also hard to feel involved with the story and characters of the movie. So basically, without spoiling too much, there is this woman who goes searching for a missing loved one, on a small island somewhere in the Caribbean. Yet there never is any real panic, fear or despair when this person goes missing and the woman just kicks into Terminator mode and goes on a revenge- and violence spree. Still sounds like a good and awesomely fun thing perhaps but like I said before, it doesn't really ever works out as engaging enough and therefor it's not a very effective or constantly entertaining enough one to watch either.
A lot of this also really has to do with Gina Carano's acting. She has some great charisma and screen-presence and all and she certainly can handle all of the action very well but when it comes down to emotions, she's absolutely dreadful. Now, in her defense, it doesn't make her any different from an action hero star from the '80's, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger or Dolph Lundgren but big difference with the movies that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dolph Lundgren starred in at the time was that they in a way were more like fantasy movies. The action was terribly over-the-top, the villains all silly and deliciously evil ones and the stories often some very silly and nonsensical ones. 'Problem' with most modern action though is that they all try to be more realistic ones, set in the real world with real people as its characters. In other words, more emotions and depth are all required to let the movie work out as a good and effective enough one. But I just really can't say about this movie that it has some good depth or emotions in it, which is a real problem for it.
The movie as a whole also definitely feels a bit too formulaic and familiar. The movie is basically doing very little surprising- or any new things and the twist and turns that are in the story often don't work out too well. None of the twists are very convincing and the movie its story even tends to feel a bit messy and disjointed at times. It's also funny how I really liked and enjoyed the more 'quiet' first 30 minutes of the movie but once the real action kicked in, I sort of started to loose interest, while it normally should be the other way around of course. The action is when the fun is supposed to start but in this case the movie starts to take a turn for the worst once it becomes a full blown- and very straightforward action flick.
Problem with all of the action also is that it definitely feels that the main character is going a bit too far at times. She very violently goes after basically everyone who potentially could have something to do with the disappearance of her loved one, even if that person seems like a kind and innocent mother. And every times she kills a person...I don't know, it just doesn't feel right. Again, maybe it has something to do with the more serious and realistic tone of the movie that doesn't goes along too well with the movie its exaggerated violence.
I still wouldn't call this movie a terrible one though. It is what it is and it certainly still feels like an entertaining enough one, despite of all of its problems. It's of course also good and refreshing to see a female protagonist in a movie like this for a change and Gina Carano definitely has the potential to become one of THE action stars of this decade.
A watchable genre movie but a far from very memorable or truly great one.