Genre: Action, Mystery, Thriller
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 27m
Director(s): Ben Milliken
Writer(s): Ben Milliken, Brent Tarnol
Cast: Ben Milliken, Jaime Camil, Jonny Beauchamp, David Zayas, Sofia Castro, Michelle Ortiz, Ana Ortiz
Where To Watch: on Digital and in select theatres April 28, 2023, On Demand May 12
RAVING REVIEW: The tranquil existence of an Australian hermit is thrown into chaos when he discovers his long-lost love is very much alive but held captive by ruthless criminals. Our hero must forge alliances and navigate the brutal underworld to save his one true love.
Ben Milliken steps into the spotlight, flexing his acting muscles as an almost unbeatable bouncer, drug smuggler, and enforcer for a ruthless Mexican mob boss. The film tells the story of star-crossed lovers fighting against a criminal empire for their happily ever after. Milliken stars in this adrenaline-fueled tale and directing and co-writing the screenplay. He plays the protagonist “Snag,” whose determination to reunite with his love is unwavering, even though she is slightly entangled—some of a take on the classic Romeo and Juliet.
I don’t know how I feel when an actor takes on multiple roles in a production. They can become overwhelmed and unable to focus on anything specific role 100%. However, it allows them to be hyper-focused and make the project their own. I felt the cohesiveness of the project but also struggled in some areas.
Our hero, Snag, often gets mislabeled by the locals, who must be aware of his Australian roots. Upon realizing his origin, they call him by an even worse nickname. There is no question about what the film tries to be and the movies it pays homage to in that journey. As mentioned above, the story draws from many stereotypes but also tries to pave its way by creating more of a Mexican/Western hybrid.
As the narrative unfolds, we witness Snag's dedication to finding his love. In this journey, he becomes an almost unstoppable machine, almost to a satirical level, as nearly nothing can slow him down. I would have liked to see this expanded to become a more JOHN WICK-style film where love makes him almost immortal.
The film's cast seems hand-picked for the film, each feeling almost as though their characters were based on them instead of them just playing roles. That made the film feel more natural and engaging than it otherwise would have been.
Packed with thrilling action, shifting allegiances, and jaw-dropping locales, this film has all the pieces. Still, it is shoehorned by Milliken's numerous responsibilities, not allowing the film to be what it could. That doesn’t stop it from being fun and having plenty of mindless over-the-top violence mixed with fun action scenes.
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[photo courtesy of SNAG PRODUCTIONS]