starring Dominic Purcell, Stephen Lang, Trish Stratus, Danny Glover
screenplay by Rob Robol & Allan Ungar
directed by Allan Ungar
by Walter Chaw Danny Glover's been too old for this shit for over thirty years now, making it all the more tragic to find him in Allan Ungar's dipshit remake of The Hard Way that nobody wanted, Gridlocked, which magnifies its crimes by also being the second remake of Assault on Precinct 13 that nobody wanted. A desk jockey checking IDs at the police station, Glover's Sully advises about 45 minutes in that he is, yes, too old for this shit. The only thing missing is a wry saxophone riff when he says it. At least Gridlocked, as it's pissing on the corpse of the literally dozens of better movies it's ripping off, had the decency to let Michael Kamen rest in peace, if nobody else. It's uniquely awful.
It's so bad, in fact, that Sully isn't the star of the piece. That honour goes to Hendrix (Dominic Purcell), a supercop in the supercop mold who's partnered with Hollywood child star-turned-fuck-up felon Brody (Cody Hackman, playing Mark Wahlberg's haircut) because it'll be good for some laffs. Watch Brody, the Hollywood dick, irritate tough-as-nails Hendrix. The premise has something to do with how following along with this rogue, psychopathic cop is community service or something for Brody, as well as his...wait for it...last chance. Anyway, Hendrix is part of a team of supercops that includes a pretty boy and a woman, Gina (WWE star Trish Stratus), who's introduced dressing in slow-motion, emasculating the pretty boy, and declaring herself "lesbian" on meeting Brody. A couple minutes later, in one of those cinematic training mazes, Gina shoots a photo of a baddie in the crotch because, you know: lesbian. It's that kind of movie. The kind without imagination. The kind so packed to the brim with puerile ideas of "cool" that its greatest ambition isn't to be good, but to be the next The Boondock Saints.
Anyway, Hendrix and Brody and the gang are fucking around in the precinct when a band of evil, organized people led by Korver (Stephen Lang, still playing the role from Avatar that was supposed to have made him a star) breach the perimeter and engage in a lockdown/game of cat and mouse/struggle for survival. This leads to shootouts, and sitting around in the dark, and the discovery of meaningful tattoos that Hendrix identifies from his years of belonging to and fleeing from and hating tattooed organizations. I spent a lot of Gridlocked trying to figure out if it was a Hot Fuzz sort-of satire. Maybe Gridlocked acted like an all-Paul Walker revue because it was super-smart instead of representative of everything that's wrong with Canadian cinema; maybe the intro-to-third-act-conflict/monologue about how Hendrix was part of a secret unit--the one that did the nasty shit, the shit that other units wouldn't touch--was all a giant chain-yank. But, no. Gridlocked plays like a gag trailer: the same music, the same dolly shots, the same dramatic push-ins. It's a style-less film diseased with affectation--a cozy companion piece to The Numbers Station on the one side and Schwarzenegger's Sabotage on the other. As incompetent as both, it's as good as neither. It's a good hate-watch, though. Give it that.