Dangerous (2021)

There isn’t an awful lot about David Hackl’s Dangerous that feels remotely original, least of all its stale, generic title that can’t help but feel tragically ironic when the finish product is one that plays things entirely safe.

Whether the supposed “danger” refers to the film’s bland lead Dylan “D” Forrester (Scott Eastwood) or the band of Kevin Durand-led crims that take his estranged family hostage is really up to the individual viewer to decide, but both pose little threat in a thrill-less actioner that treads genre ground covered countless times prior.

Because D is someone Dangerous wants us to root for, there’s a point made to make him out as the type of ex-con who has paid his debt to society, therefore rendering him somewhat harmless. By attending psychiatric sessions – overseen by, of all people, Mel Gibson (the actor unsure if he’s in the type of film playing it straight or ironically) – to calm his condition of being unable to emote (which works in Eastwood’s wooden favour), D takes it upon himself to brave his estranged family when word breaks that his brother has suddenly passed.

When he arrives on the stately island his mother (Brenda Bazinet) occupies, it’s made abundantly clear D is not welcome, and he’d be more than willing to tail it out of there if a group of mercenaries hadn’t showed up unannounced, seeking some hefty payment that D’s supposedly saintly brother owed them. The narrative on hand never travels anywhere we don’t expect, but Hackl is sadly incapable of even adhering to the most standard of genre tropes that any enjoyment we should earn from over-done set-pieces and exaggerated violence is null and void, with Dangerous proving anything but as it settles for limp shoot-outs and poor attempts at humour.

The idea of a former criminal sticking true to his code of no longer exercising violence on another human being is one that offers a wide range of potentially entertaining outcomes, but there’s a constant resistance here from Hackl, with the director seemingly wanting to explore the psychological effects of such a choice which, under better direction and a smarter script, could have been executed ripely. Instead, Dangerous wades between its want of being a serious study and a knowing action film, with neither being successfully settled on.

Stagnant, uninvolving, and a sad waste of a talented cast – Tyrese Gibson and Famke Janssen are also on hand, thankfully escaping rather unscathed due to minimal performances – Dangerous can’t even muster enough foul play to be viewed as a hate-watch. This is simply something I hated watching, and I implore you dear readers to not do the same.

Dangerous is available to rent or buy on DVD and Digital in Australia now.

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