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Sunday, March 14, 2021

Adverse 2020 * * 1/2 Stars


"Nothing personal, just strictly business". No someone's not getting fired. It's more like they're about to meet their maker. Ouch.

Anyway, 2020's Adverse is my latest review. It was released in February of last year and is distributed by Eagle Films. Brian A. Metcalf helms Adverse as a threatening LA story. Without filter, his pic is filled with drug addicts, crime lords, multiple deaths by tire iron, and remorseless henchmen. Adverse is well, "perverse".

Adverse is about an unwashed ride share driver named Ethan (Thomas Ian Nicholas). Ethan is guardian to his kid sister Mia (played by Kelly Arjen). When Mia owes a lot of money to the wrong people ($10,000 plus interest), Ethan is forced to smooth over the feeble situation and off a few bad guys along the way.

Nicholas in the lead really disappears into character. His Ethan is rattled, short-fused, galled, and full of intense stares. This is not the same dude from American Pie and Rookie of the Year mind you. And even though his performance is a little strained and over the top, you gotta admire the campy commitment.

In truth, if you like a flick with a well-known cast of cameos (Lou Diamond Phillips, Sean Astin, Penelope Ann Miller, director Metcalf), then Adverse is your cup of tea. And if you like a flick with a well-known cast of squalid side characters (Mickey Rourke, an unrecognizable Andrew Keegan), then you might get a kick out of Adverse's need to make these actors feel relevant again. Finally, if you like your crime thrillers slightly neo-noir while bloody to the max, then Adverse will give you your cinematic, needled fix (no puns I swear).

Watching Adverse, I was somehow reminded of 2011's Drive. Too bad Adverse lacks Drive's breakneck style, 80s vibe, more focused story, and better use of a nastier villain. Sorry Mickey Rourke. I still love ya though.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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