Directed by Alain Desrochers.
Starring Antonio Banderas, Ben Kingsley, Liam McIntyre, Chad Lindberg, Katherine de la Rocha, and Gabriella Wright.
A shopping mall security guard has to protect a female trial witness from a psychopathic criminal and his gang of soldiers looking to stop her testifying against them.
And so the run of direct-to-DVD action movies starring **ahem** older action movie actors continues with Security, a film that stars Antonio Banderas (Desperado/The Expendables 3) and could be neatly summed up as ‘Die Hard in a shopping mall’ and left at that. However, the whole ‘Die Hard in a…’ thing was done with a long time ago and these days not even the Die Hard franchise itself can claim to be anything like those halcyon days of likeable everyday characters taking extraordinary measures to stop the bad guys, so why not delve back into that mindset of late ‘80s/early ‘90s action movies when men were men and heroes did the right thing.
Banderas plays Eddie Deacon, a former captain in the Special Forces who has seen a lot of action in his time and has been living the civilian life for a year with no prospect of employment. As he was a captain he is passed over for a lot of manual labour jobs but Eddie has a wife and daughter living in another state and no money to go and see them so he is willing to take any job going, and as he ‘forgot’ to tick the box that says he has had his psyche evaluations his sympathetic employment officer lands him a minimum wage job as a night security guard in an out-of-town shopping mall. However, after meeting his colleagues and having a walkabout a terrified young girl bangs on the door and after she is let in a man calling himself Charlie (Ben Kingsley – Sexy Beast) appears demanding that ‘his daughter’ is let out, prompting Eddie’s old instincts to kick in and a fight to ensue as the few security guards have to protect the girl and their mall against the army of soldiers that appear outside, desperate to get in at any cost.
And so it goes that Eddie Deacon becomes the everyman character that made John McClane so endearing in those first couple of Die Hard movies. Granted, Deacon has Special Forces training that makes him a lethal force – not something everyone can claim to have – but McClane had police training and was known to have a few tricks up his sleeve so that’s not really an issue. Deacon is the focal point here and the fact that he is pretty much fleshed out as a character when we first meet him is the key to what makes Security such a thrill ride as he is totally relatable – he has family issues, money problems, is unable to make ends meet and does not know how to get out of the rut he is in. Antonio Banderas sells it completely and the scenes where Eddie is being shown around the mall by the wannabe tough guy security manager (played with admirable obnoxiousness by The Flash actor Liam McIntyre) are a masterclass in subtlety as Banderas does very little but lets you know everything you need to know about Eddie Deacon with a few small eye movements and a couple of harsh looks. As this is a story where characters have to be quiet for fear of being shot at it means that Banderas has to whisper and occasionally his thick accent makes it difficult to work out what he is saying but thankfully the action is plentiful and exposition is not really needed.
With solid support from Ben Kingsley (an odd casting choice but it could have been worse and he does lend a bit of a sinister edge in a sub-Hans Gruber kind of way), Gabriella Wright (The Transporter Refueled) and Chad Lindberg (I Spit on Your Grave), Security is an adrenaline rush as wave after wave of soldiers packing all manner of weapons and martial arts skills make their way into the mall in order to be picked off by the small team led by a former soldier and their booby traps, and on that level the film is pure joy the likes of which many modern action movies try to capture but few manage with any sincerity. There is also a bit of heart to it as Eddie Deacon has his personal demons to cope with amongst the thousands of bullets spraying everywhere, and whilst it doesn’t really need the wife/daughter subplot it does help to reinforce the point that Deacon is not a superhero and is as flawed as the rest of us. Overall, Security may not set the world on fire as it is a direct-to-DVD action movie starring a couple of actors who used to be in bigger films – had it been made in 1991 it would no doubt have starred Jean-Claude Van Damme and had a small theatrical run – but it is hugely entertaining, does exactly what it promises without any messing about and comes in at under 90 minutes. It is certainly worth considering for inclusion the next time you fancy doing a Die Hard marathon but try swapping those last two John McClane travesties for this and Under Siege for a top night of pure action movie entertainment without any of the silliness.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★