Friday 19 August 2022

REVIEW: The Moderator (2022) - Starring Irma Lake, Gary Dourdan and Robert Knepper

Review by Jon Donnis
I thought I would check out new action crime thriller The Moderator on Prime Video, mainly due to the awesome poster, but also because I like a good international thriller, as they often offer something different to the usual rubbish that comes out of Hollywood.

Irma Lake stars as Mya Snik, one day she finds out that two of her Scandinavian friends in Morocco have been killed, and a video of their deaths sent to family. Luckily Snik happens to be a covert assassin, which means she can seek out revenge.

She quickly finds out that the deaths are part of a long line of sadistic murders by an underground crime syndicate, she decides to start hunting them down one by one. We soon learn that Snik is part of a group that are fighting against misogynistic men, and are getting revenge for women targeted by such men, rape victims, murder victims and so on.

Directed by Zhor Fassi-Fihri from a screenplay co-written by producer Hicham Hajji and Jonathan McConnell.

The film also stars Robert Knepper as Agent John Ross, Gary Dourdan as Agent Richard Bourdeau and Michael Patrick Lane as the instantly dislikeable Vance Wilhorn.

As mentioned, this is a very international film, with actors from around the world. Robert Knepper is probably the best known in the cast, we all remember him as Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell in the Fox drama series Prison Break, with Gary Dourdan also a recognisable face if you are a fan of the original CSI.

This is a relatively low budget film, and as such the action scenes are perhaps not as long or as fancy as you might like, but with a super tight runtime of about 1 hour 15 minutes, it is not something that stands out.

Irma Lake does a decent job as a convincing assassin, she looks super tough, and fights just as badass, I think perhaps she struggles sometimes delivering some of the lines in English, as a native Russian speaker, I would have preferred her delivering her lines in her native language, and throw subtitles on the screen. This is her first lead role in a film, and I think she comes across very well, and has a striking appearance on screen.

Gary Dourdan and Robert Knepper steady the ship with solid performances that you would expect from seasoned professionals.

The Good
Beautifully shot locations, and some nice fight scenes. Irma Lake really does stand out when she is on screen, and I look forward to seeing her in more productions, and some I hope with larger budgets and better scripts.

The Bad
Some of the dialog is poor, and the plot is a bit iffy in parts.

Is this film going to go down as a cult classic? Probably not. Is it a simple action film, with a nice short run time that will entertain you? Yes.

Give it a shot, you might just like it.

I score The Moderator a generous 7/10

Out now on Amazon Prime Video at