On paper a film like Dangerous has potential. A sociopath who can kill at will has been released from prison and engages in therapy to try and to reform his life and not cause any trouble. Unfortunately for him, his brother mysteriously dies. As he goes to his brother’s funeral taking place at a remote island, mercenaries storm the location looking for a McGuffin. Little do they know, they’re in for some trouble. A solid premise, sure. Unfortunately for director David Hackl and writer Chris Borrelli, they opted for an incredibly bland story with an even blander lead for the film Dangerous. I mean, even the film’s title screams “mediocre.”
Dylan “D” Forrester (Scott Eastwood) is recently paroled from prison. We never really know just how bad he is, we just know he’s dangerous. He goes through the motions, taking medication, engaging in therapy with Dr. Alderwood (Mel Gibson), and receiving letters from his estranged brother, the only member of his family that still speaks to him cause, you know, he’s dangerous. Out of the blue, he gets a letter that his brother has died, and his alienated family is having a funeral for him on an island that his brother was turning into some sort of vacation resort. Dangerous tries to show you that D has mental health issues as he must write down cue cards to remind himself to tell his mother “sorry for your loss” and to hug her. Unfortunately, Eastwood doesn’t seem to have the chops to pull off playing the role.
Before D arrives on the island for the funeral, some strange man with a gun shows up at his home. Making quick work of that guy (but leaves the guy alive because he’s reformed, right?) and makes his way to the funeral on the remote island out of state. Of course, doing this is a violation of his parole which puts FBI agent Shaughessy (Famke Janssen) on his trail. Unfortunately, Dangerous isn’t a cat and mouse film as Janssen is barely in it. When D arrives on the island, he tries to make nice with his family at his brother’s wake. It’s incredibly awkward as his mother Linda (Brenda Bazinet) cannot stand the sight of him, and the same goes for everyone else at the funeral. His nephew is the only one who treats him like a person and engages him in small talk. D does capture the interest of the town sheriff (Tyrese Gibson) who just happens to have FBI bulletins handy at the funeral.
The events of the funeral don’t last long as a group of armed mercenaries led by Cole (Kevin Durand) storm the island in search of “something.” Little do they know D is a super effective psychopathic killer (coincidently from their past as well) who has a very special set of skills to be able to handle pretty much anything they can throw at him. For the bulk of the siege, D is trying his best to remain reformed and adopt to his no-killing rule. He easily dispatches with bad guys and just leaves them alive with either some very broken bones, or tied up: basically, he’s a pretty good Batman. When pressured to go further, he constantly calls his therapist for advice and to talk him over the ledge, even in the middle of beating the crap out of the bad guys.
Sorry but Dangerous isn’t successful in its execution. For one, the final act absolutely goes off the rails, especially when you find out what the bad guys were after. It comes completely out of left field. The casting of Eastwood (the nepotism is strong with this one) as the lead is an unfortunate choice as well and he simply doesn’t have the tools to carry the film. Not once in the film is he believable as a psychopathic killer. Even towards the end of the film when he’s “fully unleashed,” he’s not convincing. Durand on the other hand, who can play crazy with ease, shows him how to do it throughout the film. I dare say it: the best person in Dangerous is Mel Gibson. While he’s still in Hollywood jail for his 2006 tirade, he shows that he still can carry himself in a film. His work as the therapist is probably the only believable role throughout the film. He’s funny when he needs to be, and makes sense when the rest of the film makes you scratch your head while watching it. Tyrese is given very little to do, but this role is a sure way to make a buck in between Fast and Furious movies. The supporting cast doesn’t get much to do except cower in fear from the mercenaries, even D’s mother is rather one-dimensional until the end of the film. I will say that the fight choreography and action sequences were effective for the most part though. Perhaps with a tighter script and a more charismatic lead, Dangerous might have been a better film
Dangerous is currently playing in select theaters and On-Demand