Six months later the time has come for his debt to be paid. His assignment is to kill a paedophile. Being a Decent Guy, Gerard is filled with doubts but then a terrible accident occurs and, predictably, the paedophile is not who he seems. And so begins Gerard's chase to uncover who is behind this vigilante gang of respectable men before they manage to catch up with him.
What follows is a series of chase scenes, an escape from a police station and a sequence in which our hero channels Bourne, Bond and the guy from the Stella Artois Triple Filtre advert. And all while we’re trying to believe that he is still a sensitive English teacher. Any degree of tension is broken by the implausible situations Gerard finds himself in and the manner in which he escapes from them.
Cage’s performance feels muted and distant, while the support from his co-stars suffers from their lack of characterisation. It is never explained why the organisation exists or why it would choose such an odd method to dish out justice. If Gerard’s wife was the victim of a random assault how does Simon have the assailant’s details mere hours later, and are we really supposed to believe that New Orleans is populated with middle aged men who seem to just follow each other around each night? Shock twists are undercut at each turn by telegraphing every detail, with lingering repetitive shots, oddly distracting crash zooms, and flashbacks to the previous scene. Having said this, seeing just how early you can guess what will happen next does make for great fun.
I wanted to like this film but in retrospect all I’m after is a vehicle in which Cage can unleash his nouveau shamanistic craziness. He doesn’t belong in a film like this. He should be drunk, drugged or unhinged as the anti-hero, a loveable rogue or an absolute mad man. I’ll hold out for the next one.