Blowback [2022] Review : A Generic action thriller that occasionally thrills

Blowback (2022) Movie Review - 1

“The uglier the better,” is what our main man says, in the midst of explaining the process of a bank heist. He is Nick, played by Cam Gigendet, who delivers this plan with a lack of concern that is disconcerting. Not for us, even for the team of looters in the frame as well. This is self-explanatory for the ugliness that follows in Blowback, a piece of direct information that is provided in the opening scene itself. It gets ugly but never better. Things get messier than expected, yet Blowback keeps up with the action in fits and starts, occasionally rising up to the game.

Fans of Money Heist will probably find Blowback to be easier to connect to, given the action and the chase. Still, Blowback stumbles there as well. The story begins with the idea of a bank heist, as Nick has to obtain a lot of money extremely fast to save his daughter, who is extremely ill. Daddy won’t give up, he is a pro. Director Tibor Takács, along with writers Matthew Eason, Robert Giardina, and Robert Edward Thomas do not provide much exposition to Nick. He is just there with all the force and plan.

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The same applies to the handful of characters that abound in Blowback. As a result, the action gets more prominence and there’s little to no connection with the characters. They exist, and we follow them as they tepidly plan of looting a bank. Cut to the heist, about which the less said the better. Blowback makes looting a bank seem less dark and dangerous, and even with a potential threat to their lives, it feels like a cakewalk.

But there’s a catch. Nick tells the group that the rest can split the money from the lockers, but there’s a case inside that only he will take. This brings up unwarranted suspicion amongst the group, who like the audience, aren’t connected to each other to know what is going on in their lives. The other members (of which none gets a proper introduction to) lead to a violent attack on Nick after the heist (which although shot and edited with fine control, ultimately does not register as dangerous as it must) which leaves him gravely injured and without the case.

Blowback takes a backseat from there, the main action relegated to following Nick hunt down the people who betrayed him and get back his case as soon as possible. Thus follows a chase to hunt down one person at a time, with the police chasing the case from behind. There are several loopholes along the way. What about the cops that catch him bloodied on the street, and then the cops that are investigating the heist. Why is there no link forged to connect the dots? What about the plan that is underway, of which Nick has no idea? There is no exposition on what happened after he got injured. What works in most parts is the fuss-free progression of events, that gives Blowback a necessary amount of thrill and energy. Still, given that Blowback does not try to tread any new ground within the limits of the action drama, it mostly feels predictable.

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For a narrative that is so inclined towards the action, there’s not much to keep you hooked for its runtime of 93 minutes. The performances lack depth and feel flat, given they really don’t have much to do in an otherwise steady narrative focused on the action. The action itself, although well choreographed and edited, is limited to only a few scenes. The sound design fails to register as an intense set piece to accompany the action, but rather feels hammy and oftentimes unwarranted. Still, there is not enough thrill to keep one hooked. Jorge Gomez’s lens tries its best in capturing the action with detail. One wishes there was more to hold upon, but for a film so stoic in its combination of genre-specific ideas there’s not much to expect anyway.

Blowback could have done much better as an action revenge drama with a more solid and inventive script. It never reaches that sense of mystery or adrenaline rush in full gear and settles for a much less occupied drama. One wishes it would have taken more risks and not a backseat.


Blowback (2022) Movie Links – IMDb
Blowback (2022) Movie Cast – Randy Couture, Cam Gigandet, Michele Plaia, Louis Mandylor, Ryan M. Shaw
Santanu Das

Santanu believes that in real life, there are names that surprise us because they don't seem to suit the person at all. But for the love of Krzysztof Kieslowski, and The Double Life of Veronique~ names can evoke a submission to the unreal.