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film reel image

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

211 2018 * * Stars

211Director: York Shackleton
Year: 2018
Rated R
Rating: * * Stars
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Dwayne Cameron, Sophie Skelton

Nicolas Cage gets one of his prescribed, thespian rage moments. Countless firearms and ammo are featured as if Cage is remaking his past vehicle, Lord of War. A fictional town of Chesterford, MA sans its accents and receives more recognition and advertisement than Pepsi. Five or so bank robber personas nearly dismantle an entire SWAT team (whatever). A direct-to-video-style musical score is featured from a guy who's known for well, direct-to-video musical scores (Frederik Wiedmann). It's all present in 211, my latest review.

Image result for 211 movie scenesShot in Bulgaria (which I guess substitutes for Massachusetts), saddled with mostly unknown actors, oily slick in its approach, and featuring Nic Cage in more of a supporting role (despite his mug on 211's poster front and center), 211 chronicles two police officers and a ride-along getting caught in the middle of a deadly bank heist. Said ride-along must go with said officers or get expelled from high school for a battery incident. Talk about a weird and preposterous punishment.

Anyway, Nicolas Cage as patrolmen Mike Chandler, gives a decent if not mostly subdued performance. Sure he's doing 211 for the paycheck, sure his character is a little ill-defined and sure, Nic happily dons required hair piece in tote. Still, Cage is likable here as the compulsory, soon-to-be-retired cop with chalked up gray areas. His Chandler also happens to have a partner who's married to and has knocked up his estranged daughter (how goofy and convenient is that).

211, whose title is derived from the police code known as robbery, clocks in at an abrupt and paltry 86 minutes. It's violent and unforgiving yet vacant, a sort of patchwork version of Heat, Swordfish, and 2016's Patriots Day. Director York Shackleton (yup, that's his real name or his pseudonym) works with multiple plot lines, scrappy dialogue, endless characters, and bullet-ridden scenes of animalistic action. Too bad "Shack" decides to take shortcuts while dispelling thriller film rationale and wrapping up 211 rather quickly in a crooked bow (it was probably budget constraints or pure amateurism).

Image result for 211 movie scenesIn conclusion, I don't remember seeing 211 in theaters so if you're interested in taking in a viewing, Redbox or On Demand have your back. Bottom line: 211 provides plenty of nutrition-less savagery, bumbled police protocol, and scale-like acting. That's the cinematic "411". Rating: 2 stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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