If you did nothing but look at the description of this film on the cover you'd think you were getting a rehash of DEATH WISH or DEATH SENTENCE. But you'd be wrong. This movie takes that idea of revenge on someone who has harmed or killed your family and turns it on its ear.
Ron Eldard starts as a successful architect who comes home one night with his wife to find the baby sitter dead and his son on the floor of his room. When he goes in, the killer attacks him, leaving him drifting into unconsciousness as his son dies and attacking his wife.
Scarred by the loss of their child and unable to cope with the stress it puts on both his wife and himself, he takes his frustrations out on the detective who lets him know there is little chance of finding the killer. To avoid jail time, Eldard agrees to see a counselor who handles cases like these (Christopher Plummer).
After several sessions nothing has changed. As he tells Plummer about his frustrations at not being able to move on, at his inability to do nothing more than want revenge for what happened to his family, Plummer presents him with an offer. It seems he has connections with a group that is willing to track down the killer and place him in a secluded location for Eldard to take his revenge upon for a fee. He bites at the chance and that's where we begin the film via flashbacks and flash forwards.
Alone in the room, the film takes on a HOSTEL atmosphere with dirty room and rusted out equipment with which to torture someone. Eldard begins that way, pounding on the man strapped and gagged in a chair in the center of the room. But as he looks at him, he notices that the tattoo he now recalls on the killer's forearm isn't there. Told not to deviate from the plan or suffer the consequences, he does so anyway.
He takes the gag off of the man and the two begin to talk. Plummer is called in and tells him to stick with the plan so he doesn't get himself killed. But Eldard is unconvinced this is the man and the pair take off on their own, one step ahead of the organizers who are dead set on making sure that neither one now lives to tell the tale.
The initial thought that brings this film home is one of what would you do? Would you seek out the person responsible for this tragedy? Would you then torture this person in an attempt at revenge? Would you be so blinded by rage that you didn't care to know if it really was the killer or not? Or would you make certain that it was and if not, do all you could in your power to free this victim.
The movie is a taut thriller that brings all of these ideas into the mix. The innocence of guilt of the man in question is brought up throughout. While he may be innocent of Eldard's son's murder, he may be responsible for others. Is it a release to simply kill someone or do they have to be guilty before you can do so?
The film looks great with clean images that are disturbing and yet draw you in at the same time. Eldard does a great job and proves why he is one of the most underrated actors working today. Til Schweiger also does a great job as the man Eldard is set to kill. Plummer does his usual stand up job (can the man turn in a bad performance no matter what?).
All in all this movie does a great job of keeping you in suspense until the very last moment. The result of the hunt it becomes is both satisfying and rings true. If you're looking for fast paced action then look no further than this one. Forget the fact that it never made it to a slew of chain theaters. For some reason while they local megaplex felt the need to put the hottest new release in 10 out of 20 screens, this one got overlooked. That's one of the benefits of DVD. You get the chance to see good films that otherwise might have been lost.