Hello everyone, and welcome to 111 Archer Avenue. What started as a film review blog has become my online judgment forum. I will review the occasional movie or DVD, post an interesting trailer, critique a newly-read book, talk about sports, and share my thoughts and opinions on random issues. You can also follow me on Twitter (@OlieCoen) or check out my work on DVDTalk.com. Thank you and enjoy!

Friday, October 31, 2014

DVD Review - Throwdown

Director: Timothy Woodward Jr.
Starring: Timothy Woodward Jr., Vinnie Jones, Mischa Barton
Luke Goss, Danny Trejo, Erin Marie Hogan, Jerry G. Angelo
Year: 2014

Someone should sue this film for false advertisement.  Or at least force it to be packaged with a warning that lets consumers know that the title and cast are both terribly misleading, that even the genre is a stretch.  Because Throwdown is not so much an action thriller as it is a boring bump on the endless road to nowhere.  At first glance is seems like the movie might have some promise; the mob, criminals, human trafficking, hot women, guns, swords, that guy from Snatch.  But any purported strong points quickly turn to mush the instant they're seen on film.  So you can guess that the advertised pieces might come together to form a, at the very least, watchable picture.  But you'd be very, very & sadly, sadly wrong.

The Movie

Jaxon Stone (what a name, huh?) is a defense attorney at the top of his game.  Young, clever, unbeatable; he can get admitted murderers off the hook as easy as you please.  Sure, this might create some demons along the way, some baggage he'll have to deal with later, but who cares, he's rich & he wins, not a bad way to spend your 30s.  And so when the beautiful Amanda Torres asks for Stone's help in getting her brother out of jail, he takes the case, partly because he knows he can win and partly because, hey this girl's hot.  But Juan, the brother, doesn't want to be found innocent, claims he killed a man, won't cooperate, and basically makes defending him hell.  Why is he being so stubborn, what's the story behind the man he murdered, and why can't everything just be easy?!

Well Stone, things are about to get even more hairy.  Vincent Delacruz, a local crime boss, contacts Stone and hires his as his attorney, cash up front.  It seems that Delacruz' son was killed but Juan Torres and that the father wants to take care of justice himself.  So Amanda wants her brother freed so she can hug him, Delacruz wants him off so he can off him, and all Stone wants is to drop the case since Juan won't even talk to him!  Seems like the crafty lawyer might have found himself in over his head, especially when sex rings & international smuggling begin rearing their ugly heads.  He'll have to outsmart the mob, find loopholes through the criminal justice system, and do the broad, all before someone gets whacked.  All in a day's work for the best lawyer in the city.

It's as bad as it sounds.  And I blame it almost entirely on Timothy Woodward Jr.  First off, that's a weird name and seems fake, so strike one.  Secondly, he's the director so this movie is in his incapable hands.  It's really, really bad, like bad bad, bad in a way that hurts, not in a way that makes you giggle.  It's a complete and utter mess from the very beginning, with story lines going every which way, with odd characters that have no reason to be there, with choppy action that can barely be given the name.  And oh yeah, lastly he stars in the film.  Timmy might be the worst actor I've ever seen and that's saying something; I've seen Julianne Moore in a lot of movies.  He stunk up the stage, coming off more as a porn star trying to be serious for a second, minus the sex of course, which leaves it solely as a terrible lack of talent.  A lack of believability too, for that matter, a complete void of anything engaging or positive.  Very bad job, Junior.

And those advertised pieces I referred to earlier, what happened to them?  Well, they were there, but basically for no reason other than name recognition.  Vinnie Jones' face is front & center on the DVD cover, there to attract an audience, but he's a completely one-note villain, a thug with an accent.  Luke Goss, who I actually liked in Dead Drop, was only here to fill a little time, to hold down a character that had absolutely no point whatsoever.  Mischa Barton; what's she even famous for?  She played a DA with about as much vigor as a dead cactus.  And lastly Danny Trejo, a man cast only for his upsetting appearance and penchant for creepiness.  Throwdown was an action movie with action stars that had little to no action, a snooze fest of overly confusing plot points that centered around the director of the film, a man who couldn't act his way out of theatre camp.  Don't buy what this movie is selling you; it's not what you think and you won't like what you get.


Video - With an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 (16x9 Widescreen), the video might be the best part of the film.  Come to think of it, it might be the only good thing about the movie, as basically everything else sucked.  The film was shot using a Canon EOS C100 camera and exhibits a strong visual.  Scenes were shot with clarity, the picture quality was crisp, with a nice use of color to offset some darker moments.

Audio - The DVD was done in Dolby Digital, with an option for English or Spanish subtitles.  There are no other choices or features.  The audio quality of the film was completely unremarkable, with neither good nor bad qualities to point to.  The sound was fine, well balanced, and my only complaint ended up being that I could hear the actors.

Extras - There are a few extras on the disc.  In case you wanted more from this film, there is a Behind the Scenes section, a twenty-minute look at the making of the movie, with short interviews with the director and producer.  Also, there are five trailers: Throwdown, The Prince, Reclaim, A Good Man, Armed Response.

Final Thoughts

Skip ItThrowdown doesn't make make sense as either a title or a film.  It's a pathetic attempt at action with a confusing story that only the writer could love.  It's not so much a throw down as a throw up, a badly acted & badly produced mess of a movie.  The video was strong, the audio weak, and the extras few.  You want Steven Seagal action?  Look somewhere else, because although the cast of this film might lead you to believe that something exciting will at some point happen, it doesn't.

- Content
☆ ☆ ☆ - Video
☆ ☆ - Audio
☆ ☆ - Extras
- Replay

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