Boss Level Review
A hell of a lot of fun.
Roy Pulver (Frank Grillo) is stuck in a time loop. Every morning, he wakes up and fights off a series of assassins sent by the dastardly Colonel Clive Ventor (Mel Gibson) to kill him. No matter what he does, though, he always dies. In many respects, Roy doesn’t care. You see, his wife, Jemma (Naomi Watts) was killed the day before, so he has no reason to live. That is, until he finds out that maybe there’s a way to save her.
Boss Level, directed by Joe Carnahan, is a hell of a lot of fun. Cheesy, ultra-violent, and frequently very funny, the film knows exactly what it is and hits it out of the park in that respect. The jokes are dry, well-timed and well-written. The script is tight, and the dialogue believable in the context of the film.
One of the most impressive things in the film is the acting. This cast is stacked to the brim with incredible talent, from Naomi Watts to Annabelle Wallis, Ken Jeong and Mel Gibson. Gibson, who we’ve seen recently in a number of 2020 and 2021 releases, really levels up his performance here, and delivers a character that feels suitably fun and evil at the same time. The real star of the show though is Grillo. Reportedly, Carnahan developed this idea 8 years ago, and wouldn’t make the movie without Grillo as the star - and thank god he fought for that casting choice, because Grillo is note perfect in every scene of this movie. Whether he’s cracking one-liners, looking like an action star, looking like a drunk, pulling his own teeth out or delivering a tender moment with his son, every second of his performance is exactly what this movie needs.
The movie isn’t surprising in many respects. Largely, the plot is pretty self-explanatory, with barely explained mcguffins and a series of reveals we have seen before in movies like Palm Springs and Groundhog Day (albeit with a lot more action, blood and fun here). What is surprising, though, is that you are actually driven to care about these characters in this film. Some of the work between Frank Grillo and his on-screen son is really powerful, and genuine emotion wells.
In the end, this movie isn’t going to blow your mind, the box office or the award season. But there’s no denying - it is incredibly fun.
Boss Level is perfect for what it intends to be. An incredibly fun, funny and action-packed time at the cinema.