Tue | Feb 25, 2020

Cinema Seen | 'Final Score' close to a 'Die Hard' clone touchdown

Published:Monday | September 24, 2018 | 12:00 AMDamian Levy/Gleaner Writer
Dave Bautisa (left) and Craig Conway in 'Final Score'.

It seems the '80s may never die. Just last week, audiences were treated to a Predator film, and now, we're lucky enough to have a bona fide Die Hard clone. By that, I mean a film that attempts to recapture the lightning in a bottle that was the original Die Hard, the film in which Bruce Willis happens to be caught in the midst of a terrorist hostage situation and is the only one with the skills to save everyone. This time, it's Dave Bautista, and, instead of Nakatomi Plaza, it's London Stadium.

Many have tried, but few have succeeded at this Die Hard-equalling attempt. Notable examples are Snakes On A Plane and, most recently (and most egregiously), Skyscraper starring Dwayne Johnson. Final Score never quite elevates to the charm of the film it borrows from, but it's surprising in its creativity.

I watched with glazed eyes as Dave Bautista tore his way through goon after goon, working his way in video-game fashion - quite literally - to the final boss in the tower. That is, of course, until something would yank me awake, forcing me to pay attention. These moments wouldn't be game changers in the least. This isn't John Wick or The Raid in the least. Final Score does do enough to give you moments you remember after the credits roll, which is more than you can say for most generic action films.

There is also a fair amount of heart in the film. You have Dave Bautista's Michael Knox, a soldier who never left the war, looking after the family of his fallen brother in arms. His niece, played by Lara Peake, struggles with the loss of her father, and her big Uncle Mike wants to take her to a football game, like the ones she and her departed dad frequented. On the flipside, there is Amit Shah as Faisal, the stadium employee thrust into a life-or-death situation on a minimum-wage salary, and he acts accordingly for some of the film's best and most humorous moments.

Again, none of the material is particularly incredible, but the film handles it all in a way that resonates and actually stays with you as you walk to your car to head home from the cinema. In one of the most stunning reviews of this year, a film that seemed like a shoo-in for Catch it on Cable is being awarded a higher rating.

Rating: Half-Price