Sunday 25 June 2023

REVIEW: The Best Man (2023) - Starring Nicky Whelan, Dolph Lundgren and Luke Wilson

Review by Jon Donnis
Somewhere, a director sat down and thought to himself, "I know what the industry needs. It needs a film about a group of villains breaking into a holiday resort and having to fend off the people present." Now, why he would think that when that exact film has literally been made hundreds of times is beyond me, but alas, here we are. One thing The Best Man has in its favor is a very strong cast. So, is the film any good? Read on to find out.

The Best Man opens with an intense rescue mission, where a team of skilled mercenaries embarks on a daring operation to save an American woman who has been kidnapped in Mexico. Despite their training, the mercenaries suffer losses, including Axel (played by Scott Martin), who sustains a critical gunshot wound to the head and is left for dead.

A year later, the once-kidnapped woman named Brook (portrayed by Nicky Whelan) is now preparing to marry Cal (played by Luke Wilson), one of the brave men who saved her. Cal's cousin Bradley (played by Brendan Fehr) is chosen as the best man for the wedding, and another member of the rescue team, Anders (played by Dolph Lundgren), is also set to attend the ceremony.

Brook's father (played by Chris Mullinax) has rented a grand, secluded resort and casino for the wedding celebration. However, they soon realize that perhaps a secluded resort was not the best option for the wedding when a heavily armed crew unexpectedly arrives at the venue.

Despite the action-packed opening scene, the film quickly settles into about 30 minutes of drawn-out dialogue. And then, about another 30 minutes pass until it actually starts to deliver what the synopsis promises the viewer.

At a decent 90 minutes in length, the film finally ramps up the action at the 60-minute mark, and it builds nicely towards the end, although the ending is slightly anticlimactic.

All the big names get nice scenes to showcase their talents, with Dolph Lundgren as Anders probably having some of the better moments in the film.

The film is very predictable, and strangely, it doesn't even attempt to hide who is behind the attack. In fact, if you read this review again, you can probably guess.

The fight scenes are well-filmed, everything looks visually appealing, and considering the star power of the actors involved, the characters are convincing in their roles. However, the film remains dull for too long. The finale is anticlimactic, and despite the actors' involvement, I found myself not being drawn to a single character, neither the heroes nor the villains. I had little to no emotional investment in the characters, which left me uncaring about what happened. This is mainly due to the first 30 minutes after the opening scene, which should have been utilized to create a stronger attachment to the characters. Unfortunately, it is poorly written and dull, resulting in boredom and distraction.

The storyline has been done a hundred times before, but that shouldn't matter if a film is well made and well directed. Sadly, this film is well made but falls short in terms of writing and direction.

The film is not terrible, don't get me wrong. As action films go, it is passable, and with a runtime of 90 minutes, it offers a decent viewing time. However, it failed to captivate me, despite being a fan of a few of the actors involved.

The Good:
Well made, the fight scenes are visually appealing, and the cast does their best with the material they are given.

The Bad:
By God, the film remains dull for too long, and by the time it picks up, you may have already lost interest.

Very anticlimactic.

A paint by numbers action film, totally unoriginal, and completely predictable.

It ticks all the boxes, but for the calibre of actor involved, I expected much better.

I score The Best Man a disappointing 5/10

Out now on Digital -