Chief of Station (2024)

 Chief of Station Review

 Chief of Station

One other week, another action-thriller that is direct-to-video. Not long ago, practically all of such performers starred both Aaron Eckhart or Olga Kurylenko, and Chief of Station, directed by Jesse V. Johnson takes place to obtain each. (Very well, technically it only stars Eckhart Kurylenko will take a supporting part during the movie although we’ll choose it.)

This is the kind of programmer that filled theatres on a weekly basis from the ‘80s and ‘90s. Mid-finances, fronted by a recognizable face or two but not blockbuster mega stars, with a solid if often journeyman director guiding them. These films were strong and workmanlike. Not usually super unforgettable they scratch a certain itch and are generally completely satisfying in The instant. And this Motion picture matches that Invoice into a T.

Eckhart plays Ben Malloy, a CIA Station Main. He’s certainly a spy but he has an excellent idyllic lifetime with his loving spouse Farrah (Laetitia Eido), also a spy. When she gets all blown up, he gets unfortunate and retires and now his son Nick (Chris Petrovski) won’t take his phone calls any longer. But wait around It’s possible his wife’s Loss of life wasn’t an accident? (From context I had no idea the increase was supposed to be an accident until finally a character states so the Film makes it seem like it absolutely was intentional.) His hunt for what definitely took place and perhaps exonerate her; there’s fifty percent-hearted endeavour at painting her as potentially dirty reluctantly forces Malloy back again into your darkish world of his former spy games.

Narratively Talking Chief of Station is Tom Clancy light, similar to an airport-dad novel brought to daily life. The plot can be a mishmash of different factions, shifting loyalties, betrayals, twists and shut calls; all at once it’s also imprecise and ill-defined. The script by George Mahaffey hardly ever clarifies any concrete targets or distinct stakes Everybody is seeking something almost certainly a little something Malloy’s spouse gave him although the movie never tells us exactly what it can be, or what will take place if Anyone party receives their fingers on it (or doesn’t). It’s like the writer typed “spy things takes place here” to the web page and forgot to go back and fill it in. And all of the typical espionage tropes do come about eventually.

This is a nice-wanting Motion picture: Johnson can make utilization of his European areas and employs amazing run-down industrial settings to excellent outcomes. Total, this looks like a considerably more substantial budget than Johnson often has got to work with and he puts everything up there about the screen for us to see.

Not surprisingly the motion is as powerful as ever whenever it lastly does kick in the stunt-performer-turned-director is practically nothing Otherwise trusted On this Section. There isn’t just as much of it as some of his other films, notably his team ups with Scott Adkins instead of creating that the centrepiece, he focuses extra on restricted thriller beats crammed with escalating pressure and suspense. Other than none from the intrigue is as taut or exhilarating since it needs to be.

For the final act, all the major guns are pulled out, both literally and metaphorically. Shootouts happen, there’s a bitchin’ car chase, a good hand-to-hand tussle, and other kickass bits. This is where Kurylenko finally shows up there’s a photo of her on a computer earlier on but she doesn’t appear on screen until the 59-minute mark. She has one big scene that rules but is mostly an exposition machine and largely underutilised.

Eckhart does another sound job fronting one of these mid-tier affairs. See this year’s The Bricklayer for another. He has enough charisma and presence to carry things though he doesn’t exactly light the frame on fire it’s easy to see why studios once had him earmarked for superstar status but also how that never fully came to pass. But he’s settled into a nice groove with genre work of this scope and scale and I’m here for that career arc.

Several of Johnson’s usual co-conspirators also make appearances at the party. Chief among them Daniel Bernhardt. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have much to do. He gets one shining moment to show off his skills as one of the best action performers currently working but other than that he’s relegated to generic goon status (though he looks rad covered in Russian prison tattoos). James Faulkner shows up in a couple scenes as “elder intelligence agent” with little more meat than that. After stealing Johnson’s Hell Hath No Fury Nina Bergman pops in for a single scene; it’s set up as if it will materialise into something more but nothing ever develops with that aside and it winds up being expendable. Alex Pettyfer does a serviceable job as another espionage practitioner who you know is the villain from frame one (“Yep, he’s a bad guy.”).

There are a few plot gaffs like Malloy not knowing a character’s name despite it being told to him a few scenes earlier, or gunfire and an explosion on a not-large boat not alerting bad guys that things are afoot. The movie never transcends or escapes its espionage tale trappings it never tries to rewrite the formula but it’s so paint-by-numbers. Again, if you stick around until the final act there’s a decent reward waiting. Chief of Station feels like a movie that’ll do big numbers on Netflix in a couple months; it’ll pop into the top ten for a week or two and clickbait movie sites will write about a forgotten action movie burning up the algorithm. A lot of people will watch it, though most of them won’t remember much in the way of specifics.

SPOILER: I don’t want to ruin anything but there’s this fantastic moment at the end where Nick, Molloy’s son, straight up executes a defenceless, incapacitated villain with a grenade freakin’ launcher (granted, the baddie did kill the boy’s mom). But more importantly: DADDY IS SUPER PROUD!! It’s hilariously mean-spirited.

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