Review: 'The Courier' (2019) Dir. Zackary Adler
The production team behind 'Darkest Hour' bring a fast-paced story of espionage and mistaken identity to light...
When a key witness, Nick Murch (Shah), is targeted for assassination by crime boss Ezekiel Mannings (Oldman) to spare him being sent to jail, a tough, independent courier (Kurylenko) is unwittingly dragged into the ordeal.
After Murch escapes the assassination attempt, with the courier’s help after she is framed for the murder of several police officers, Mannings sends The Sniper (Orvis) and assorted heavies to finish the job.
On the run from the assassins and the might of the law, the courier must stay one step ahead of everyone to make it through a dangerous night and be able to get Murch to safety and send Mannings down for good…
When a film is marketed from talent who produced 2017s ‘Darkest Hour’ and stars the lead from said ‘Darkest Hour’, but very little else about it shouts originality and the cast is otherwise unknowns, you know it’s a shaky territory. Gary Oldman does a much better job than the usual ‘takes lead billing but appears for less than 5 minutes’ roles (looking at you Bruce Willis) in this run-of-the-mill action film from director and writer Zackary Adler.
Olga Kurylenko, known the world over as 2008s ‘Quantum Of Solace’ Bond girl Camille Montes, punches, kicks, gouges, shoots, stabs and explodes various bad guys all sporting machine guys and tattoos. She is the courier with no name (but with a convenient military service background) tasked with protecting both herself and foul-mouthed, bumbling Brit witness Amit Shah. Shah is targeted by assassins working for Oldman, looking like a Roger Moore-era Bond villain with facial scar and eye-patch.
It’s a story that has been done to death in numerous low-budget big screen and direct-to-DVD offerings.
The premise is basically an hour of hiding and chasing and shooting as the clock ticks down before Oldman and his crimes go free. Kurylenko does her best to carry this whole film on her ample shoulders and Tony Stark-esque bike helmet. She certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed since her 007 days, and here she carries on that tough talking, ass kicking heroine across London. Sadly, there’s little else to it but that, and she doesn't even do much couriering at all!
Shah is the British comic relief ushered into many of these films where he swears a lot, apologies a lot, falls over and covers his ears a lot and protests a lot whilst being saved all the time. All our bad guys are cardboard 2D templates with nothing to them except walking around looking down the scope of guns.
And Brit actor William ‘Chronicles Of Narnia’ Moseley tries to be the best American bad-guy he can be, but comes across as nothing but the graduate from the villainous over-acting class of 2019. Gary Oldman does the best he can walking around a set dishing out mini-mologues and threats to his men with a slimy American accent, but that’s about it. Everything else between these little moments is forgetful and repetitive.
The action is bloody and grim - we have heads caved in and bodies set on fire - but it’s little substance to hide the lackluster story and characters.
It would just be far more entertaining to have Kurylenko either put back into the 007 franchise or given a film with more star quality and material than this damp squib of a package.
'The Courier' is a Signature Entertainment production