Misfire (2014)

Misfire (2014)-

Directed by: R. Ellis Frazier

Starring: Gary Daniels and Vannessa Vasquez

Cole (Daniels) is a DEA agent searching the mean streets of Tijuana, Mexico in search of his kidnapped ex-wife. He believes the drug cartels have something to do with her disappearance so he goes after the baddies involved. Helping him out is a beautiful woman named Gracie (Vasquez). That’s pretty much it. Will Cole and Gracie fight the bad guys, rescue the girl, and win the day?

You know how in movies and TV shows, when cops or doctors have to go to the family of someone who died, and they say something like “it never gets any easier” or “this is the part of the job I hate”, while having grave, unsmiling faces? Well, this is how we feel right now. As much as we love Gary Daniels, and we desperately WANTED to love Misfire, we - regrettably - have to deliver the bad news. It’s just not very good. We hate...well, hatred on the internet and we try not to be a party to it, so, we’ll just say what we have to say in as kind a way as we can, and we’ll try to back it up with all that we have, and, presumably what you’re reading this for: our opinion.

We love that fan favorite Gary Daniels is still working, and he has to get in where he fits in, as it were. But fans of his want to see him do Martial Arts, and/or be charming during dialogue scenes. Both are minimal in Misfire. Daniels does do some stuff towards the END of the movie. Bad move. He should have fought more goons and done it from the get-go. Instead, the pace of the movie is odd and lopsided, with a bunch of yak-yak and extended scenes of shirtless men walking around. Then a few limp, lazy action scenes break out (starting with a fruit cart foot chase), but the whole thing just feels OFF - and slow. 

It lacks edge, focus, drive, and a strong, super-evil villain. The cumulative effect of this is that it feels like nothing much of value is happening, and the viewer gets annoyed. 

It appears director Frazier doesn’t know what to do with Mr. Daniels. He didn’t use him to his maximum potential, or even close to it. I’m surprised they’re teaming up again after this for future projects. The real problem is, this movie isn’t exciting or fun. There’s no sense of high-stakes action/adventure. It feels rote, with no “Yes!” moments. And there’s one blow-up. ONE. Listen, we couldn’t care less that it’s low-budget and has that sort of feel. Low-budget movies are the lifeblood of cinema. But if we compare it, just for fun, to a high-budget Hollywood movie, Fair Game (1995), Fair Game is a masterpiece, even though people make fun of it all the time. Because Fair Game knows what the audience wants and expects, and delivers it to them. Misfire did not do that. That’s the real problem here.

And just a note on the title. “Misfire” is a very modern-day - you might even say post-modern - title for an action movie. Almost like it’s ashamed of itself. Gone are the days of titles like Fists of Blood (1988), Triple Impact (1992), and Excessive Force II: Force on Force (1995), it seems. We need more strong, powerful heroes that aren’t afraid to snap some necks and blow up a few helicopters, not some guy in a nebbish voice saying “sorry ma’am, I’m afraid I had a misfire”. And we don’t want to hear any excuses on this, like we’re dealing with the dark night of Cole’s soul or something. No more ‘misfire’s.

Not to be too obvious about it, but we are forced to say it: Misfire is indeed a misfire. 

Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett

Also check out a write-up from our buddy, The Action Elite!


Roger Renman said...

I agree. I don't understand why a martial-arts expert is hired, but then the martial arts go unused in the film. Both this and the location reminded me of Scott Adkins in El Gringo, which was equally awful. And frankly, calling a movie Misfire is just asking for it.

Ty said...

You're right. That makes no sense. What a waste of Gary's talents. El Gringo was supremely disappointing and just terrible. How dare they misuse Adkins and Slater.

venom said...

I thought this one was OK, and I personally liked El Gringo. For me Misfire for all it's faults is a far better Daniels film then Spoiler.

Ty said...

We'll take your word for it on Spoiler.