I was planning on reviewing Sharky’s Machine, the Burt Reynolds directed movie, starring himself. But… I fell asleep during the long stretch of time spent on Burt Reynolds’ character watching a hooker across the street in her apartment while on a stakeout. It felt like it went on forever, putting me right to sleep. By the time I woke up, I caught Burt shooting the bad guy out a high rise window and then end credits.
You don’t see that much anymore, bad guys getting shot out of a high rise windows. You used to see that all the time in 80’s action movie climaxes. RoboCop, Death Wish 3, Invasion U.S.A., I’m sure if you think about it you could come up with a few more as well.
I’ve never been the biggest Burt Reynolds fan, I don’t know why exactly, I’ve only ever seen maybe 5 movies he’s been in. Only two of his older films Deliverance and Heat. The only reason I saw Heat was because I heard Jason Statham was doing a remake of it, later retitled Wild Card. And like most cases, the original was better.
Anyway, I could tell right away that I wasn’t digging Sharky’s Machine and the last thing I wanted to do was shit over the movie so soon after Burt Reynolds had died, so I went looking for something else that might be worth talking about.
Thankfully, the new Bautista film Final Score just came out. And since I praised him so highly during my Escape Plan 2 review, I thought why not check out a movie where he is finally the lead.
My main issue with this film is the obvious comparison to Die Hard. It’s almost beat for beat a complete ripoff. Die Hard knockoff movies are not new. I guess you could say I’m surprised they still make them. Even the newest Rock movie Skyscraper as kind of a knockoff of Die Hard.
I guess it’s just has one of those concepts that’s so easily imitated. It’s Die Hard but in space. It’s Die Hard but on a bus. It’s Die Hard but on a boat. It’s Die Hard but on a train. It’s Die Hard but on a mountain. Extra credit if you can name the films I’m talking about. And bonus if you can name one not listed.
One I didn’t mention however was it’s Die Hard but in a hockey stadium. That would be the 1995 Jean-Claude Van Damme movie Sudden Death. Out of all the Die Hard knockoff films, Sudden Death has the most similarities to Final Score. So really, Final Score is Sudden Death but instead of taking place in a hockey stadium, it’s taking place in a soccer stadium. I know the site has some UK members that might roll their eyes at calling it soccer. They even make that a running gag in the film. But since it might get confusing, I’ll just stick to calling it soccer. Unless you prefer I call it footy?
Dave Bautista plays American soldier Uncle Mike. Even though he isn’t the uncle to anyone… he was in the army with his buddy that had a wife and kid back home in Britain. But he got killed in action and now Mike is kind of like his pal’s surrogate father to his teenage daughter.
Why a British native was serving in the US military, I have no clue. Maybe he wasn’t British, he just loved footy so much he moved to England and started a family there.
The teenage daughter is Danni. Uncle Mike shows up from time to time to check up on her and take her to a soccer match, a past time her dead dad used to do with her.
But Danni is now a teenager, wanting to spend time with boys instead of her hulking uncle that only shows up when he feels guilty. But as it turns out, the boy she likes is also going to the soccer match that night as well.
Now the terrorist subplot of this movie was slightly confusing, as I didn’t fully get what was going on at first. The terrorist aren’t there to rob anything, making the title for the film slightly misleading.
Instead of robbing the place, they are looking for someone in the crowd, the long lost brother of the head terrorist played by Ray Stevenson. Oh and the long lost brother?
Played by Pierce Brosnan. I didn’t even know Pierce Brosnan was in this until he pops up like 20 minutes before the end. They had him hidden behind a thick beard like Jim Carrey in The Bad Batch.
As Uncle Mike goes to get Danni a hotdog… okay, can I ask our UK members something? Do they normally sell hotdogs in stadiums there? Sausage rolls I can see but that’s more of a German thing.
A full on American hotdog though? I could be wrong but aren’t American hotdogs hard to find in Britain? If you do find them in markets aren’t they always in metal tins? It just seemed weird that a soccer stadium would be selling these. If I remember correctly from a cooking show I watched years ago, aren’t meat pies the go to stadium food in England? Unless hotdogs are now the newest and hottest craze like jiggly cakes in Japan.
As Mike gets Danni a very delicious looking hotdog, she decides to ditch Mike and hang out with her crush.
Now not knowing where she is, he flags down someone working there, Faisal.
Oh boy, did I hate Faisal. He will be our comic relief for this film unfortunately. I found him insufferable and annoying, so much so, I was getting Rob Schneider flashbacks of him in Judge Dredd.
While this is happening, Ray Stevenson’s character Arkady and his band of weirdos have stealthily taken control of the stadium. They managed to kill all the cellphone reception and lock all the gates leading outside. They’ve also planted C4 around a portion of the stadium’s stands, if detonated, it would kill thousands of unsuspecting spectators.
The only ones aware of this are Mike and Faisal when they stumble on to it when going to see the folks in the head office about finding Danni.
What takes place is this really bad ass fight sequence taking place in a tiny elevator. These two giant hulking men beating the living shit out of each other. It was probably the highlight of the film for me. There are some other action scenes later that are pretty cool, but nothing topped the elevator fight sequence.
After Mike kills the terrorist pretending to be a guard and he fails to check in, our lead terrorist sends a couple of his goons to check it out. One of these goons is so bulky, it looks like he implanted a bunch of pumpkins into his arms. He’s freakishly muscular, to an extent that it looks painful.
But they must have been only prison muscles because Mike beats the shit out of him, slicing off his fingers then deep frying his face in a fat fryer.
Vlad as he was called had a girlfriend on the team. For some reason she has a broken nose that is never addressed. I watched a film recently that did the same thing. A lady was on a team of bad asses but for some reason she had a black eye that no one talked about.
So now Vlad’s bitty wants revenge. Think of her as the blonde guy in Die Hard whose brother John McClane killed and stole the machinegun from.
Mike sends Faisal to find Danni while he tries to convince the police terrorists have taken over the stadium. And of course he does this by dropping a dead body off a ledge.
So right now I’m debating if I should secretly start talking about Die Hard to see if you notice. I don’t really remember too much about Sudden Death, but I still remember plenty about Die Hard…
Now that Mike is killing his men, our lead terrorist starts looking for Danni, Faisal is able to get to her first but being completely fucking useless this entire time, Vlad’s lady friend shows up and knocks him out, taking Danni into custody.
Now Mike has to find our terrorist leader’s brother or they will execute Danni.
Pierce Brosnan plays Dimitri, Arkady’s long thought to be dead brother. These two were rebel leaders in some Ukrainian like country, but Dimitri saw how crazy his brother was getting and decided to fake his own death and go into hiding thanks to the CIA.
Arkady wants his brother back to show the people back home that their fearless leader is still alive, therefore so is the resistance.
Mike has another issue besides getting Danni back alive, he also needs to find the deadman switch for the C4. A switch that just happens to be around Arkady’s neck.
Mike gets close to Arkady to make the exchange, but it was a dummy. Refusing to be his brother’s pawn, Dimitri kills himself before Arkady can show his people the face of the resistance lives.
Angry, Arkady plans to set off the explosives. The way they get the folks in the stands to move is by Faisal yelling allahu akbar. Oh, somewhere along the way Mike killed Vlad’s lady. Is it weird that I kind of wanted them to just start making out in the middle of their fight?
Anyway, the C4 goes off, leveling half the stadium, Arkady uses the chaos as a way to escape with Danni as his hostage. Though having her tag along was probably his biggest mistake as her yelling for help made them easy to pick out of the fleeing crowd.
I was hoping for another down and dirty brawl between Bautista and Ray Stevenson, but really it just ends with Mike shooting him in the face. There wasn’t even a good comeback line, like let off some steam, Bennett.
And unfortunately Faisal managed to survive the explosion. Damn, so no happy ending for this film I guess.
I give this a RENT IT rating. I did enjoy myself, it was a very nice looking film, and I can actually see this one playing in theaters. It didn’t seem like the usual straight to video kind of movies Bruce Willis makes these days.
The director, Scott Mann has done some pretty solid work in the past. The Tournament is a really fun action film that I would recommend.
Bautista I thought was really good in this. He played kind of the cliché wounded soldier type of character that we’ve seen a million times before, but the part demanded some level of acting that he did quite well with. The highlight obviously was the action sequences. The fight scenes were well filmed, not a ton of shaky cam which seems to be the go to style these days.
It also did some fun things with the environment they were in. I mentioned the elevator scene and the fight sequence in the kitchen but there was also a really cool motorcycle chase scene that took place not only inside the stadium halls but on top of the stadium dome itself.
I did however find the film was lacking in originality and characters. They were all stock characters, from Danni the tough but annoying teenager, to the comic relief character that you wish would die, to the soldier with a troubled past… you’ve seen it all before. The plot was also kind of lacking. Their whole motive was slightly boring and uninteresting. They didn’t even pull off the true motives thing that these films usually take from Die Hard. They might seem like terrorists, but really it’s about robbing a bank. It’s cliché, but at least it’s consistent.
Now if you excuse me, I have to flip a coin to see if I should risk seeing Mandy in theaters or not with a hurricane approaching. If you read somewhere that a man died while waiting in line to see a new Nic Cage film, know I didn’t make it and died the way I lived.
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