Directed by David Hackl.
Starring Scott Eastwood, Mel Gibson, Tyrese Gibson, Famke Janssen, Kevin Durand, Brock Morgan, Ryan Robbins, Chad Rook, Brenda Bazinet, Destiny Millns, Al Miro, and Atlee Smallman.
A reformed sociopath journeys to a remote island to investigate the mystery behind his brother’s demise, but soon ends up facing off with more than he bargained for.
Director David Hackl (using a script from Christopher Borrelli) never quite figures out what he wants to do with the concept of a so-called reformed sociopath on medication attempting to maintain his calm while reconnecting with his estranged family following parole, but with a parade of mercenaries storming the island his brother bought. Scott Eastwood also seems unsure of how to play Dylan “D” Forrester, lacking charisma and failing to generate any laughs. In contrast, his phone-standby therapist Dr. Alderwood, played by Mel Gibson, certainly seems to understand the approach better or is simply aware that the material works better if he is playing up the situation for humor. The fact that the Internet only labels Dangerous under action and thriller doesn’t clarify any of this confusion, but needless to say, most actors here feel like they are in a separate movie.
That’s also frustrating, considering it is amusing watching D consistently leaving the room to have a brief online therapy session for advice while conveniently leaving out information such as being under attack or bringing up the mystery at the play of what the mercenaries are searching for on the island. Nothing about Scott Eastwood’s performance necessarily makes this funny, leaving Mel Gibson to carry the scenes, but the situational ideas are worth applauding. It often results in D employing the most nonlethal violence he is capable of dishing out (there are plenty of stab wounds, but he seems intent on not killing anyone else in his life).
It’s made known upfront that D hasn’t always gotten involved with law-abiding groups growing up, having fallen into working for a career-criminal fixer known as Cole (a true psychopath, played by Kevin Durand), but for years has been making great strides towards becoming a productive member of society. As the end of his parole draws near, he continues to exchange letters with his historian professor brother Sean, frequently mentioning something about a remarkable discovery on the island he has purchased. Even closer to that day, Sean turns up dead from a lighthouse accident. Meanwhile, an assassin attempts to murder D. Naturally, law enforcement gets involved (Famke Janssen heads up the investigation team in a thankless role), causing D to head to the island earlier than expected and just in time for the funeral.
Unsurprisingly, D’s mother, Linda (Brenda Bazinet), isn’t thrilled to see him. Shaun’s friends are slightly more receptive, as is his widow, who introduces D to his young nephew. Funnily, D explains to his nephew that he is not insane; he just doesn’t care how other people are feeling in his presence due to an antisocial personality disorder. There’s also a security guard on the island played by Tyrese Gibson, who is informed that D is a wanted criminal and to detain him, which he does while waiting for the FBI to come. This island head of security also happens to be one of the dumbest guards I’ve seen in a movie in quite some time, not realizing that the mercenaries that arrive are indeed not the FBI practically until being shot at and fending for his life by adopting the tried-and-true videogame third-person shooter tactics of taking cover behind a crate only to pop up sporadically trying to pick henchmen off one by one.
Other characters also behave foolishly, such as Linda, convinced that they will be safe as long as D leaves the island, and pretty much every adult within their safe space that allows the nephew to run around the home unsupervised when mercenaries are threatening to break in from every direction and have snipers posted. Whatever curiosity the story once had is also drained by the predictability of what the mercenaries are presumably looking for as they perform seismic chasing all over the island. Admittedly, there is one surprise within the hidden discovery, but the gist is as basic and generic as these stories come. Scott Eastwood also doesn’t have much to do in the way of action, and if he does, it’s usually something offputting, like one mean-spirited moment where he cuts the palm of an ally for a screaming response to use as a distraction. It’s strange to say in 2021 that Mel Gibson is the only good part of a movie, but such is the case with Dangerous.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★
Robert Kojder is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Critics Choice Association. He is also the Flickering Myth Reviews Editor. Check here for new reviews, follow my Twitter or Letterboxd, or email me at MetalGearSolid719@gmail.com