Boss Level (2021) Review
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
PLENTY OF films have successfully adapted the idea of a protagonist reliving the day of their demise, including Tom Cruise's Edge of Tomorrow and Jessica Rothe's Happy Death Day, but does Frank Grillo's video game-inspired groundhog day matchup to previous trendsetters?
Roy Pulver (Frank Grillo) finds himself stuck in an infinite time loop where a multitude of assassins are being sent to kill him. After hundreds of attempts to reach the end of the never-ending day, Roy begins to receive traces of information left behind by his ex-partner, Jemma (Naomi Watts), who appears to be the centre of why this unending torture is happening to him.
The concept of repeating one day over-and-over became cliché when it first hit the mainstream in 1993 with Bill Murray's Groundhog Day, and over 25 years later the repetitive narrative hasn't been properly welcomed back by casual movie-goers.
Boss Level suffered heavily by relying solely on its 'Osiris' time-loop, making an otherwise passable film feel rudimental and uninspired; it's a real shame too as the movie still has a lot to offer in terms of decent character development and jokes.
Frank Grillo's character of a retired special forces soldier appeared flat on the surface, but when the movie started cooking, his persona turned into a relatable man wanting to reconcile with his ex-wife and estranged son by escaping his figurative and literal déjà vu lifestyle of booze and self-pity, all of which is expressed through a decent performance by the leading man.
Naomi Watts and Mel Gibson also did well in their respective roles, but weren't featured enough in a 100 minute film that repeats the same scenario over and over for their personas to be engaging or memorable as neither put their own spin on such cliché characters.
Joe Carnahan (The Grey) never goes outside his comfort zone in terms of directing, sticking to safe outcomes and generic dialogue which manage to go full-circle and create one of the most campy films I've seen in quite a while.
Boss Level isn't exactly a tour de force for film, but what it does provide is a good time for people searching for a movie with nonsensical action and convenient loop holes for its protagonist to utilise (just don't expect to remember the movie a few weeks from now).