It is certainly hard to get over the idea that actor Bryan (Breaking Bad, Argo) Cranston will not be on TV screens across the world on a weekly basis anymore. But there are several silver linings with the hit AMC show about a high school chemistry teacher becoming a drug kingpin, chief among them the fact that the actor can now grace big screens with his powerful presence. And in director Tze Chun, in his first feature-length debut, channels all of the greatness that is Cranston in what would otherwise be a forgettable and seemingly made-for-TV type of crime drama. Joining Cranston are actors Alice (ATM, The Raven) Eve and Logan (Prometheus, Devil) Marshall-Green, who both deliver adequate if forgettable performances. Neither shine, nor do they take away from the true star, which is unquestionably the veteran actor who causes immense discomfort in every viewer with his chilling portrayal of a nearly blind foreign criminal.
Cranston's restraint and ability to make the best of a should-be boring plot make this go from a run-of-the-mill rainy Sunday afternoon special to a high octane and very believable crime caper. The plot is simple: A man wants to get a package to his employers, but his driver dies in an unrelated conflict and he must take a woman and her child hostage to drive him to his drop point. The story gets more complicated, but never convoluted, and the finale is one of the best pay-off moments in recent crime thriller history. Eve appears to be slightly miscast until the ending, and Marshall-Green plays the perfect scumbag. But it is Cranston's calm, cool, and terrifying portrayal of a hardened and desperate career criminal that truly makes this movie shine.
It will be interesting to see if Chun gets more feature film work and if they receive a larger release than this film. It would have made more sense to give a post-Breaking Bad Cranston film a wide theatrical release, but perhaps the budget and marketing just did not permit such an action. This will become a cult classic once it hits Netflix, and though Eve and Marshall-Green do an okay job, their roles were always destined to be overshadowed by the main character. And it was just a final nail in their coffin when they cast one of the greatest living actors in Hollywood.