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USA 2020
Directed by
Michael Polish
91 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
1 stars

Force Of Nature

There is an oft-repeated claim in probability theory that if a monkey typed for infinity it would eventually turn out the complete worlds of Shakespeare. I don’t know how plausible that it is but I can readily believe that along the way and in a lot less time it could have knocked out the script for Force of Nature, an action thriller that will use up an hour and a half of you time and give you little to nothing in return.

Set in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the story concerns a cop, Cardillo (Emile Hirsch), and his partner (Stephanie Cayo) who are assigned to evacuate an apartment building during a Category 5 hurricane.  Refusing to leave are a crusty retired detective, Ray (Mel Gibson), and another old man (Jorge Luis Ramos), with a formidable security system. Ray is terminally unwell and is in the care of his doctor daughter (Kate Bosworth). Coincidentally a gang of heavily-weaponised thieves are trying to break into the other old man’s apartment which is serving as the hiding place for a cache of Nazi-stolen Old and Modern Masters. Oh, and in yet another apartment a black guy (William Catlett) is keeping a caged wild creature that he must feed 100 pounds of raw meat daily.

The plot by screenwriter Cory Miller, is both preposterous and hackneyed and the characters generic in a film which recycles cliché after cliché from the action movie book (including Gibson’s own wise-cracking Lethal Weapon persona), most squirming-inducingly, fabricating a burgeoning romance between the grieving, burnt-out Cardillo, and Ray’s daughter (who in real life is Polish’s wife which explains at least what she is doing in this film).

Polish’s career has largely been confined to art-house films. Although of varying  degrees of success, none at the top-end, all are much better than this woefully misbegotten affair. 




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