27 September 2023

Final Score

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

Director: Tony Mann, Defiant Screen Entertainment.

Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Dave Bautista, Lara Peake.

At first you do a double-take, realising WWE-contender Bautista is the protagonist in Final Score. Then you realise, he turns out to be a surprise action hero.

Bautista (aka Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy) plays the role of U.S. former soldier Michael Knox who is attending a soccer match with Danni (Lara Peake), the cockney teenage daughter of a fallen fellow solider.

Of course, they are unlucky as Russian-speaking terrorist separatists have chosen that day to craftily plant explosives in the stadium. The chief terrorist does this so he can search for his long-lost brother, while access is cut to the outside world. The lost man happens to be Pierce Brosnan, sporting a showy silver beard, but displays an implausible Slavic accent.

While Bautista offers a thoughtful mix of gentle likeability and an amusing comic persona, his remarkable physicality is what’s necessary for a ‘fighting’ star.

For the most part you get what you expect, but it has wit, enthusiasm and is more adaptable than it has any right to be. Not quite in the same league as “Die Hard in a football stadium”, but it tries hard.

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