review by Bobby Blakey
Director Jesse V. Johnson has delivered some of the best action flicks over the years including Triple Threat, Avengement, Savage Dog, and Accident Man. His latest foray into action is White Elephant, which he also wrote, that features a great cast including Michael Rooker, Bruce Willis, Olga Kurylenko, Vadhir Derbez and John Malkovich. Could this be another bad ass action flick or will it fail to make the hit?
White Elephant follows an assassination attempt that is witnessed by two cops, so Gabriel Tancredi, an ex-marine turned mob enforcer, is ordered by his ruthless mob boss to eliminate any and all threats. With an eager underling out to prove himself, rival gangs making moves and a rising body count, every step Tancredi makes threatens lives…including his own.
I love all things Jesse V. Johnson so if he is attached I will be watching. Add to that this great cast I was pretty eager to see what he had put together this time around. The story itself is pretty simple and nothing we haven’t seen before, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it does a decent job of setting things up and getting the action rolling. It is a bit all over the place at times and some cuts didn’t make some sense to me.
Much like a lot of his work here of late Willis is only in a bit of the film, but plays an important part. Not sure if anyone was aware of Willis’s health issues during this film, but Johnson uses him well complete with an action sequence that flashes to the old action Willis we all loved. The real star here is Rooker who is a bit more toned down than fans might be used to. He still does a good job and carries his side of the action well.
The film doesn’t always work performance wise, but its fine enough for the type of film we are dealing with. The real star here is the action and there is plenty of it. This is all about the barrage of bullets and it has no concern about how many it lets fly and racks up a nice body count. Some of the earlier sequences are pretty average, but the final act offers up more excitement and fun. There are a couple of shots that is baffling how people missed hitting anyone, but it is par for the course sometimes.
In the end this film isn’t breaking down the world of action, but it is decent enough to entertain. It’s the kind of 90s style action flick you would snatch up from the video store and just enjoy it for what it is.
Decide for yourself and check out White Elephant available now on Blu-ray and DVD.