I've said many times in past reviews "I wanted to like this film, but I couldn't". This is the first time in my over 250 reviews I'm saying the opposite.
Going into this, I had very low expectations, and from the very start, those expectations were met with the very poor acting and dialog, followed by the start of an outrageous story-line.
As the story continued, I began to notice that the camera angles (poorly aimed in some scenes) were similar to video games like Call of Duty. Then I noticed the background music was similar as well. For a few minutes I thought to myself "oh boy, this movie is gonna be a waste of time", but oddly enough, all those factors started to grow on me, including the bad acting/dialog.
Then I started to notice the directing and cinematography were actually quite good - and those poorly aimed camera angles actually made the scene very realistic, especially for a B-type low budget film with two amateur directors, Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott.
Oddly enough, I also started to look past the poor acting and dialog from Dave Bautista and Brittany Snow and instead, became fond of their characters, and able to relate to them as just 'average Joe's' trying to survive. As I grew up in Brooklyn, I realized it wasn't bad acting/dialog, but instead their characters were spot on Brooklynites! For that matter, Dave Bautista nailed his character as a passive war vet turned janitor who lost his family.
All of a sudden, BOOM, I was engulfed in this film and was really enjoying it. You can't compare a low budget B-type film to the blockbusters, and as such, to review it on it's own merits, this film was outstanding! I really felt like I was right there where all the action and suspense were happening, and was rooting for the Brooklynites.
Sure one could argue about plot holes and an un-realistic story, but this is pure fiction (although it does make you think), and the screenplay was written so well with the pacing spot on, I felt like I was watching a live newscast in a war zone. What I also really liked (and respected) was the fact that there were zero clichés in this film, and it was pretty much unpredictable. Even the ending (not going to give it away) was a shocker and certainly not expected.
It's sad to see such a low IMDb score from people comparing this to blockbuster films, or inserting their political opinions and agendas into the story. This for me was simply a fun ride, a great suspenseful adventure thriller, executed very well from every perspective. It left an impact on me, wanting more, and I do hope a part 2 is considered.
I will watch this again, and it's a well deserved and much respected 9/10 from me... great job to all those involved in the production of this sweet little gem.