Let’s face it the holiday season isn’t for everyone, even with all the bright colored lights, cheery music, and mass amounts of sweets, some just don’t like it. I didn’t always enjoy the holiday season myself. Well I’ll be doing something a bit different with this and maybe some future entries during these holiday weeks. I’ll be covering some non Christmas themed movies with maybe a small smattering of Christmas ones mixed in.
If you haven’t been able to tell from the title of this piece I’ll be reviewing a film starring someone who has become a bit of a juggernaut in Hollywood, Dave Bautista. Bautista, worked for many years in World Wrestling Entertainment and has had roles in films since around 2009. He’s been getting more and more opportunities since portraying Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy and becoming a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is great news for me because it means more movies to watch and enjoy.
In Final Score, Bautista plays a weary, and distant, U.S. Army member, Michael Knox, who visits a late army buddy’s family in England often. He has come to see his friend’s wife and her daughter Danni. He wants to take Danni to a football game between the West Hamm FC and Dynamo FC. Dynamo FC is from Russia, where as the beginning of the movie tells us the State of Sokovia has been in unrest since a failed revolution for independence seventeen years prior. This is especially interesting as Sokovia is a fictional country in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which Bautista is a part of. A former Sokovian general, Arkady has come to the stadium to further his politics of the revolution. This includes rigging a large portion of the stadium to blow with c4 and offing a lot of security staff in an attempt to find his brother, believed by most to be dead. Unfortunately for Arkady, Knox is at the game and his niece, Danni is missing. This leads to Knox discovering that something is awfully wrong at the game.
Most of the characters we have seen Bautista play on screen are stereotypical big muscle guy roles, which isn’t always a bad thing, in fact I think his physique helps his characters come to life. It is quite hard though to connect with an audience if all you have to offer, however, is your physicality to roles. Thankfully for us, Bautista brings a lot of emotion to his role as Michael Knox, with his need to protect the daughter of a man he couldn’t protect when he should have been able to. Although it feels like he needs redemption, you can tell he also genuinely cares for Danni.
This movie has a lot of action, and some pretty great effects as well in it. Of special note in the film is a fight in a very small elevator, and an extended tussle in a kitchen. The kitchen encounter is probably my favorite as the effects really shine when a deep fryer comes into play. The villains, mostly two dimensional, are still unique enough to catch your attention, especially Vlad, played by Martyn Ford, and Tatiana, played by Alexandra Dinu. General Arkady is portrayed by one of my favorite actors since college, Ray Stevenson, if you’re not familiar with him I suggest checking out the horror movie Outpost, which is tons of fun and partly responsible for the slew of Nazi zombie fare that flooded the market for a while. I’m pretty sure at the beginning of the movie when they show archival footage of Arkady it is actually a still from Outpost. I really enjoyed Final Score and if you’re looking to pad out your holiday viewing with some non holiday fare, I suggest checking out Final Score.