Every Last One of Them, 2021.
Directed by Christian Sesma.
Starring Richard Dreyfuss, Michael Madsen, Taryn Manning, Paul Sloan, Jake Weber, Claire Kniaz.
A former special ops soldier goes looking for his missing daughter, with predictably bloody results.
Every Last One of Them is a fairly provocative title for an action movie, and when you read the plot synopsis and see that Richard Dreyfuss is the name plastered over the poster then you could be forgiven for thinking that the actor formally known as Matt Hooper from Jaws has entered the realm of the older, past-their-prime star slumming it in straight-to-DVD action/revenge fodder à la Liam Neeson.
Thankfully this is not the case, as although Dreyfuss is very much in Every Last One of Them he is not the focal point. However, it is true to say that the movie is definitely riffing on the same themes as most of the fathers-out-for-revenge genre that has become a godsend for older actors looking for a quick pay check. To be fair, Dreyfuss and Michael Madsen – the other notable name in the main cast – are the faces to draw you in but it is Paul Sloan who does most of the heavy lifting.
Sloan plays the appropriately named Hunter, a stranger in a small town that seems to be run by the very nasty Nichols (Jake Weber), a man who is the head of a very secretive security firm. Hunter becomes the target of Nichols’s rage after an altercation in one of Nichols’s bars against his son as we discover why Hunter is in town and why Nichols shouldn’t underestimate him as Hunter lives up to his name to try and take out everyone who has wronged him.
And where does Richard Dreyfuss fit into all of this? He shows up as Hunter’s former CO Murphy – because when you think of commanding officers in the special forces then Richard Dreyfuss is surely the name that springs to mind – and has the unenviable task of trying to talk his former soldier down and not slaughter everyone – we’ve seen this before, right?
Yes we have, and to try and add a bit of plot meat to this bone there is a vague sub-plot about a multi-billion dollar water deal that seems to be going sour that is woven in to up the stakes but nobody really cares about that, least of all Hunter who just wants to get revenge for his missing daughter. Oh yes, Michael Madsen shows up for all of five minutes in a flashback scene as Hunter’s friend who offers his drug-taking daughter Melissa some sage advice, and for all the good it does he may as well not have shown up at all as his appearance lends nothing to proceedings and Melissa goes down the wrong path anyway.
But the violence is what we came for and violence is what we get. Apparently it took four writers to comes up with a story about a vengeful father shooting people (and don’t forget the water deal), which is at least three more people than it took to colour grade the movie as one more notch down the colour spectrum and Every Last One of Them would be black and white. Paul Sloan gives it a good shot at being the mean-and-moody former soldier and Jake Weber is solid enough as his foe but everyone else here is either chewing the scenery (Taryn Manning as Nichols’s sister Maggie) or turning up, reading their lines and waiting for the banks to open to get that pay check in (Dreyfuss). But, let’s be honest, who is coming to this for the acting?
When it comes down to it, Every Last One of Them is the low(er) budget knock-off of Rambo: Last Blood which, depending on your tolerance for such things, is either something to avoid or something to tolerate – literally – because despite its basic premise it never goes beyond just being adequate when it comes to the action. That may be enough for some as, at only 80 minutes long, it doesn’t hang around longer than it needs to and for a quick fix of gun-toting one-man-army revenge it does its job but with four writers, two star names amongst a fairly strong cast and some, at best, well-staged action set pieces it should have been so much more, with not even the killer final scene stopping the whole experience from being just a bit underwhelming.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★