A one-time instructor for US Special Forces, LT (Jones) taught men how to kill. Now his lessons are coming back to haunt him. A former charge, Hallam (Del Toro), unhinged by witnessing atrocities in Kosovo, is carving a trail of murder across mountainous Oregon. LT is called out of retirement to bring him in. There might be echoes of First Blood here, as a military killing machine runs out of control, but Friedkin's lean, mean thriller shows itself more interested in process than context, subtlety and character development pared away in favour of headlong momentum and crunching set pieces. This stark approach risks testosterone fuelled hysteria or even banality, but the leads have a seriousness of presence which compels attention, as does the resourcefulness with which the hunt scythes though credible rural and urban environments. It's no frills, old school stuff and refreshing as such, given that so many current action movies seem like CGI demos. To cavil at the lack of substance or emotional involvement is beside the point. Friedkin cuts to the chase with abrasive integrity.
Cast and crew
David Griffiths, Art Monterastelli, Peter Griffiths