film reel image

film reel image

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Mercy 2023 * * * Stars


"This family is going down whether you like it or not." Yeah well that's great. But first you got to take them out with some vigilante force. Otherwise you'll die an unceremonious death. 

So OK, I dug 2023's Mercy and I nervously admit to that. But hey, I wanted it to be more spun-out (and/or drawn-out). Eighty-five minutes is the runtime, a mere snapshot, a flap, a cinematic demo tape. Not a whole lotta backstory on the baddies. Not much of a protracted ending. Some stock side characters. An opening flashback that's well, quick as a flash. Everything in between? Well that gets better. That's Mercy's epicenter. That's the good stuff.

Mercy (whose title feels like an oxymoron) is about an Irish mafia outfit who infiltrates a hospital and takes its patrons hostage, all the while trying to find one of their own who is wounded in said hospital. Mercy, well it doesn't hold your hand as a viewer cause it's mean as a snake, all B-thriller trope-d and relentless and flinty and un-empathetically violent. The film seems to have an unexplained mean streak, ruffled dialogue, and a compulsion of denizens with bomb collars attached to them. Yikes!

Released in May of this year and acting-wise, hammed up for the masses, Mercy stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jon Voight, and Leah Gibson. They're game and committed in a low-budgeted, claustrophobic version of Die Hard in a clinic. People are trapped, the FBI rolls in, mano-a-manos go down, Meyers gets his rage on, and blood is spilled. The antagonist personas are mob types with thick accents, disheveled haircuts, and itchy trigger fingers. The protagonists are John McClane ilk-s who are stealth and can occasionally gibe. In the end it's all machismo compacted into one or two set locations. Mercy? What mercy. There's none here. 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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