Title: Stand Off
Directed by: Terry George
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Colm Meaney, Martin McCann, Yaya Alafia, David O’Hara
Running time: 89 minutes, Rated R, Available on Blu-ray
Special Features: Trailer
Jimbo makes a lot of bad decisions. The worst one is borrowing money from a renowned gangster named Mad Dog Flynn. When Mad Dog tortures Jimbo after losing more borrowed money at the casino, and tells Jimbo he will kill him and take his infant son, Jimbo becomes desperate and decides to rob the fish market which unbeknownst to him is owned by Mad Dog. Jimbo then holes up in a local antiques shop which is being run by an American named Joe Maguire who unbeknownst to Joe has ties to Jimbo’s past. Soon it turns into a befuddled hostage situation when several people are found hiding out in the same shop.
This film was a big mess. Stealing is the last refuge of the desperate and stupid. We’re supposed to feel sorry for this dumb asshole for making bad decisions for himself and his family? I would’ve let the gangster take the kid, probably would’ve been a better parent. That baby is doomed with Jimbo as a dad. He knowingly gambled his life away, never considering the consequences for his wife and child. I really hate when films glorify thievery as if it’s the only answer; it’s such a copout cliche.
Two very annoying/precocious little kids were sleeping in a sofa? Are we really to believe they slept through the whole ride to town and being lugged around? After pulling a gun in the presence of a cop then shots fired at/near them, we’re just supposed to believe that all is forgiven in the end? The justice system in Ireland is pretty cushy if this is truly how they do things.
There was no real chemistry between Brendan Fraser and Yaya Alafia. The romantic storyline seemed more like an afterthought. There were no real stand out performances and all of the characters were one dimensional and bland. Some parts of this awkward comedy were funny, but mostly over the top silly and forced. Stand Off is a safe family movie (the R rating is only for language) if I need to give it something, but you’re not missing anything.
Reviewed by JM Willis
Total rating: C