'Armed' did have potential to work. Absolutely loved the concept and any film that attempts to take on important, relevant but under-explored subjects is worthy of credit, even if it didn't succeed it would have gotten some applause for trying. Did feel apprehensive at the same time, having heard bad things and have found films often that have low ratings and not so good reviews to be that bad despite wanting to like it. Watching it, 'Armed' was not a good film to me, didn't explore its subject anywhere near enough and the potential was not lived up. Am not going to accuse 'Armed' for not trying, that couldn't be further from the truth. It did. If anything, it was a film that tried hard but to the viewer it comes over as trying too hard, with a sense of having a good deal of ambition but biting off more than it could chew. Really admired what it tried to do but it just didn't work. My review summary actually is a little too harsh, but it only summed up my overall feelings after watching the film. There are a few good things. Generally didn't find the production values too cheap, it did have style and was at least cohesive. Mario Van Peebles' performance is committed, he was definitely not going through the motions and he doesn't try to overdo it. Likewise with William Fichtner. Do agree that the barber shop scene stood out when it came to the writing, it was clever and thought-provoking and makes one wonder whether someone else wrote that scene. Because the rest of the script came over as under-cooked and muddled, at times self-indulgent too. Other than Peebles and Fichtner, the rest of the actors don't work so well and seem stifled, excepting Ryan Guzman for the reason of being jarringly hammy. The characters are rather sketchy in development and show no traits that allows one to get behind them, some felt shoe-horned in as well and add little. The character interaction never comes over as natural, with some interactions being borderline-creepy and others being over-the-top. Have said already that the production values aren't too cheap, though will admit that some of the more hallucinatory moments were shot in a way that induced some nausea and over-reliant on symbolism that perplexes rather than intrigues. The recurring depictions of PTSD are handled very broadly yet also with little depth, making it not so easy to emotionally connect. That is all lost too under the confused and over-biased messaging and heavy-handed and again biased (in a less than tasteful way) political elements. There is very little tension or excitement in a wafer thin story that the film tries to disguise by throwing in as many elements as possible (too many) while doing little with any of them. It's too confused to be properly thought-provoking, cannot decide whether it's trying to be serious or trashy because both of those approaches appear here and the middle third especially is long-winded, in a film that pace-wise lacks momentum badly, and vague. In conclusion, potentially interesting film with underdeveloped and confused execution. 3/10 Bethany Cox
Action / Thriller
Action / Thriller
A former U.S. Marshall struggling to put his life together after a case gone wrong. A former colleague reappears in his life and explains all of the survivors of the man's unit are ...
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April 3, 2019