Close Range is another great action vehicle for Scott Adkins, and may be the beginning of another franchise for him. It’s got a good simple setup for action, but Adkins plays a character who could easily have many more adventures.
The simple premise is Adkins out in the country versus a gang of corrupt cops and another gang of drug dealers. The Maguffin for all this is that Colton MacReady (Adkins) rescued his kidnapped niece (Madison Lawlor), but accidentally ended up with the cartel’s flash drive. When they come looking for the drive, the corrupt sheriff (Nick Chinlund) makes a deal with the cartel, so MacReady just has to kick everyone’s ass, which is how I like it.
There are plenty of goons for MacReady to get through one by one. They are each given an on screen title card, but honestly that didn’t help me. I didn’t remember their names, and their unique personalities and skills were apparent in the performance, so it worked just fine to see Adkins use a different approach to take each one out.
Close Range makes use of every room in the country house and every rock in the country mountains. Adkins gets more acrobatic as the movie progresses, like he’s building up to the big jumps, but he still does plenty of fancy footwork and fistwork when he stays on the ground. It starts strong with a single take fight scene and I was never bored with any style of fighting he or his costars employed.
The family backstory works for me. MacReady blames his sister (Caitlin Keats) for hooking up with wrong guy, but he didn’t do his part to help her so maybe he’s got some guilt himself. Guilt leads to redemption and reconciliation which are always strong themes for heroes. His sister can shoot too. Her daughter will grow up with good genes from her mom’s side of the family at least.
Close Range 2 could really go anywhere. It could find another intimate setting with more family dynamics, or it could get bigger and sent Colton MacReady into more epic territories. As long as Scott Adkins is playing him and Isaac Florentine is directing, I’m in for Closer Range. Close Range is on VOD December 4, theaters December 11 and Blu-ray/DVD January 5.