Friday, January 8, 2021

Redemption Day Review: An Action Packed Movie In Some Beautiful Places

Gary Dourdan	...	Brad Paxton Serinda Swan	Serinda Swan	...	Kate Paxton Andy Garcia	Andy Garcia	...	Ambassador Williams Brice Bexter	Brice Bexter	...	Younes Laalej Ernie Hudson	Ernie Hudson	...	Ed Paxton Martin Donovan	Martin Donovan	...	Tom Fitzgerald Robert Knepper	Robert Knepper	...	Mysterious Oil Lobbyist Samy Naceri	Samy Naceri	...	Jaafar El Hadi Don Bigg	Don Bigg	...	Officer Issam Jay Footlik	Jay Footlik	...	US President Lilia Hajji	Lilia Hajji	...	Clair Paxton Mehdi Ouazzani	Mehdi Ouazzani	...	Imam Malik Brahim Rachiki	Brahim Rachiki	...	Jean Rashidi Karim Saidi	Karim Saidi	...	Abu Karim Joe Drago	Joe Drago	...	CIA Director

Release date: January 8, 2021
Running time: 99 minutes
Gary Dourdan (“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” All She Wrote), Serinda Swan (“Ballers,” “Graceland”), Martin Donovan (Tenet, “Big Little Lies”), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters Franchise, “The Family Business” ), Samy Naceri (Taxi Franchise), and Andy Garcia (Oceans 11 & 12, The Godfather: Part III)
Written and Directed By: Hicham Hajji 

Having just returned home, decorated U.S. Marine Captain Brad Paxton's (Gary Dourdan) wife, Kate, is kidnapped by a terrorist group while working in Morocco. He is forced back into action for a daring and deadly operation to save the woman he loves.

Redemption Day has an explosive opening that sets the stage for this film that is part military operations and part intrigue.  In that sequence you see a lot of what makes this film an interesting one.  You get to see Gary Dourdan, who does a great job as Brad Paxton, you get to see some sweeping landscape shots, which happen throughout the film, and you get a dose of action.  First off, Gary Dourdan is really wonderful as Paxton, and he has a quiet calm about him that is fun to watch.  He also looks the part of a soldier, but his demeaner is a little too laid back I think.  But that doesn't change the fact that he is a very fun character to watch  and is full of surprises.  Serinda Swan is great as Kate Paxton.  She is a strong character, which is always great to see, and also has to navigate a range of emotional scenes.  And although the main draws of the film are Andy Garcia and Martin Donovan, they have minor roles.  They were fine and show why they are such successful and sought after actors, but they were not the stars of the film.  

Directed by  Hicham Hajji	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Sam Chouia	 Hicham Hajji	 Lemore Syvan    Produced by  Steven Adams	...	executive producer Khadija Alami	...	executive producer Nicole Alexander	...	line producer: los angeles unit Jonathan Deckter	...	executive producer Babacar Diene	...	executive producer Hicham Hajji	...	producer (p.g.a.) Matthew Helderman	...	executive producer Bobby Roth	...	executive producer Jonathan Sheldon	...	executive producer Luke Taylor	...	executive producer David Zilberberg	...	producer (p.g.a.)
The camera work in this movie is also quite good, and the movie has some really good camera tricks to help tell the story.  The best is it uses these sweeping drone shots to film some scenes when convoys are on the move.  This is coupled with some exhilarating music that really gets your heart pounding as you anticipate what is to come.  And the action is generally well done, though some of the special effects are hit or miss.  Explosions that look a little off or appear to be CG, these can cause a little bit of distraction during the extreme fights.  But the film also has much more intrigue than I expected.  There is some political wrangling as a plan is formulated to rescue Kate, and there is some country intrigue as Brad tries to do whatever he can to get her back.  And that is where some of this seems a little unrealistic; some of the lengths Brad goes just don't seem like they would work in a real situation.  But then again, this is a movie and not a documentary.  If it was 100% accurate it probably would be less enjoyable.  

But another thing I did enjoy about this film is that it doesn't pigeon hole its characters.  Some people have multiple sides they are playing, and some characters intentions might be quite different from your initial impressions of them.  And I also greatly enjoyed the film's multiple languages, making this feel like a much more accurate film based in Morocco.  You hear English, French, and Arabic throughout, with some characters using it interchangeably.  It makes for a much more vibrant and true to life experience.

Redemption Day is equal parts action and intrigue, with intense action, sweeping landscape shots, and heart pounding music to accompany some great performances by Dourdan and Swan.  

Rent it.

Redemption Day Conflict Fighting Soldier

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Redemption Day is in theaters on January 8, 2021 and on PVOD on January 12, 2021. 

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