I going to come clean and say I flat out loved this film. It has a great cast, script, action, direction and of course special effects. Equally important, the choreography in the fight scenes is excellent. I never thought I was being hoodwinked or short changed by careful cutting, rapid shot changes or careful camera placement.
Although it has a pretty good if somewhat simplistic storyline, it has been adapted very imaginatively with what is actually quite a lot of forethought planning and development. I felt a little cheated with the ending but on retrospect, I couldn't really have asked for too much more... maybe they're doing a Boss Level II.
Normally I expect Frank Grillo to be either a second tier good guy, when the likes of some A-lister is unavailable or possibly out of budget, or a first rate bad guy, a role he tends to somewhat excel in. Here he's the star attraction and with Naomi Watts and Mell Gibson bringing up the rear and it's a good combination.
Grillo is sharp, witty, romantic and... well, displays a range as an actor that we rarely see him portray, and he does a great job. As an action actor there are few who can walk in his shoes, both physically and with his on screen presence, let's face it, he gets a lot of work in this area for a good reason, but I wasn't expecting him to be a lead in a role that really demands a lot more of his acting ability, and quite frankly, I'm pleasantly surprised. Not that I'm saying he couldn't act before, just that, well... I've not seen him in many parts where he's had much more to do than be/look hard, and or beat people up.
Gibson is Gibson at this stage of his career, gritty, unhinged and accomplished.
Watts is never truly convincing as a scientist/doctor/researcher. The rather alluring slinky dress that functions as a lab coat or some other type of boffin garb was ill thought out, but she nevertheless manages to deliver a competent performance whilst adding a sultry appeal that doesn't go unmissed... perhaps the dress isn't such a bad idea after all.
The minor cast is for the most part an accomplished line up of add-ins who do a pretty good job in filling in the necessary spaces for villain-hood, goonish ineptitude and thuggery. Some are quite enthralling and I loved the way that a multitude of baddies are employed for skulduggery, even if it is (given the protagonist and his lack of superpowers) somewhat excessive. Whilst Michelle yeo is largely unused, she nevertheless gives the story some credibility.
Anyway, I won't give away any details on the plot but it is a good film with a pretty solid delivery all round. I'm not going to nit-pick on the fine points of the story or temporal mechanics of the notions therein, and even though I do like the fact they didn't try and explain away some aspect of science, I didn't so much like that a fair amount of meat was left off the bones of the science aspect of the film... not that it mattered much since it wasn't really the focal point of the film... well, not really.
Anyway, go see it. Solid 7.5 out of 10 for me but I'll give it an 8 since it was an unexpected pleasure to watch.