If you close your eyes and pretend that Die Hard and nearly every film that copied it never happened, then you may enjoy this “original actioner…cough!” of a mall security guard who has to protect a female witness from a gang after they lose all forms of communication during a storm.
The tagline states “Its going to be a long night” and for some viewers it may feel like that. Just what the action genre does not need but we get it anyway is yet another Die Hard clone, this time starring Antonio Banderas, who missed out on the craze in the 90’s and now, nearly 18 years later, finally gets his chance to be the “lone hero”.
Everything you expect in an a Die Hard rip off is here. From having a British actor in Ben Kingsley as the chief villain, to a hero with the required skills to save the day, honestly its like the Nakatomi Plaza never happened. But lets talk about the clichés that we all know and love.
For a start Banderas plays Eduardo or Eddie, a military veteran, down on his luck and estranged from his family. Looking for work, he finds a night security job at a shopping mall, where his co workers are the usual stereotypical characters we have seen so many times. From the man in charge whose cocky and confident, to the coward and the obligatory drunk who is only there for the money. I have to say its a huge credit to these actors that you actually do end up caring for them when the bullets start flying around, especially as the script takes them into unexpected paths. Is that a compliment? Am I really about to give this film a glowering review?
Its hard to stay positive when the film hits the cliché path right at you like a shovel in the face, but growing up in the action boom of the 90’s when not just Willis but the likes of Cage, Stallone, Snipes and everyone else, all had their “save the day” moments, you can never actually be bored of this kind of genre. I suppose its like a slasher film that tries to be Halloween, you know its not got a chance, but you hope for some sort of enjoyment, no matter how daft things could get.
Eddie’s first shift sees a distressed young girl come banging on the door, a girl who just happens to be same age as his daughter who he hasn’t seen for over a year, and so feels even more protected towards her. Of course! This girl has managed to escape from a bunch of hi-tech crooks who want her dead as she is a key witness, and having killed all the cops that were transferring her, they fail to grab a simple child and let her run to a nearby mall for help. Of course!
Eddie lets her in, the crooks turn up with more armoury and skills but that does not matter because if they can’t shoot straight while Eddie can, then hey, he’s got a chance. Of course! Bullets start flying around hitting everyone bar Banderas and the film comes a sort of a paint by numbers action flick that you’ll guess the outcome, long before the credits roll.
Kingsley is quite possibly the worst bad guy in charge, not only failing to capture the girl the first time, but hiring incompetent fools around him and then virtually not do anything of note himself. Closing your eyes and listening to the mayhem, doesn’t make you any more menacing and the odd backstory towards the end, is more laughable than gaining any sympathy. Banderas, of course can do this stuff in his sleep and while its miles away from the quality of Desperado, it more than makes up for his appalling performance in the disastrous Expendables 3.
Its mostly because of Banderas that the film rises above the mire. Some decent action scenes along with a simple plot makes Security nothing more than an undemanding watch which for action junkies, can be a perfect Saturday night beer movie. Its not quite Die Hard, but then its not Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 either……..