With a title like Boss Level, this action movie starring Frank Grillo is exactly what you think it is. A fun and fast-paced movie that will hold your attention for ninety minutes. This is the second time loop movie I’ve seen in the past few months as this concept is apparently making a comeback. The first one is a very entertaining comedy, Palm Springs. Boss Level is, however, a bloody and brutal affair. They didn’t hold back with the violence as our homeboy begins each day with a straight machete to the head attack.
You can see they threw in the pot concepts that seem to be popular nowadays like time travel, video games and gritty and muscular protagonists. I have to say that Frank Grillo looks amazing for 55-year-old man. He was great in action sequences and hand to hand combat as well as the rest of the crew. If you liked him in this one make sure to check the rest of his recent roles in Black and Blue, Point Blank and Wheelman. Speaking of wheels, there are some nice and juicy car chases here too. As you probably guessed, the whole movie has this video game vibe. GTA or some similar shit.
Meet Roy Pulver, a retired special forces guy who found himself in an unusual situation. Every morning he wakes up next to his girlfriend and is immediately attacked by people who just appear out of nowhere. When they kill him, the day just restarts and he has to fight them again and again. However, he’s getting better at it and starts suspecting that he’s part of a brutal experiment…
The special effects were good and this is not some low-budget affair but a cool B action movie. After all, with a budget of $45 million they had plenty of money. Boss Level reminded me of The Tournament, another sleek action movie but without this time travel gimmick and a smaller budget. Apart from Grillo we also have Naomi Watts who hasn’t aged a day and Mel Gibson as the archetypical cigar-smoking villain.
If you’re looking for some complex story or unexpected twists better check out other time travel movies like TimeCrimes, Blood Punch or Retroactive. Boss Level has a pretty straight-forward story that you can follow with just two brain cells. And it works perfectly well as this simplistic action extravaganza with strong John Wick vibes. Sometimes that’s all you need from a movie. No bullshit and no high-concept gimmicks, just plain old entertainment. Finally, if you’re looking for similar movies check out Extraction for more non-stop action or Edge of Tomorrow if you want more time-loops. Enjoy.
Director: Joe Carnahan
Writers: Chris Borey, Eddie Borey, Joe Carnahan
Cast: Frank Grillo, Naomi Watts, Mel Gibson, Michelle Yeoh, Will Sasso, Meadow Williams, Mathilde Ollivier, Annabelle Wallis
Fun Facts: Joe Carnahan had been trying to make this movie for years. It was originally called “Continue” and was written by Chris Borey and Eddie Borey in 2010. Carnahan rewrote the script and announced in 2012 that he would direct it for 20th Century Fox. He later filmed a screen test with Frank Grillo and posted it online. Fox ultimately decided not to move forward with it.