Thursday 22 February 2024

REVIEW: Lights Out (2024 Film) - Starring Frank Grillo and Jaime King

Review by Jon Donnis
Directed by Christian Sesma and featuring an ensemble cast including Frank Grillo, Mekhi Phifer, Jaime King, Dermot Mulroney, and Scott Adkins, "Lights Out" is a 2024 American action thriller that delivers on adrenaline-pumping action but somewhat lacks in originality.

The premise introduces us to Duffy (Frank Grillo), a wandering veteran plagued by the ghosts of his past. His nomadic existence leads him to Los Angeles, where a chance encounter with Max (Mekhi Phifer), an ex-convict managing fighters for an underground fight club, sets the stage for a gritty tale of redemption, survival, and revenge. Max recognizes Duffy's potential but also sees the danger of him succumbing to his inner demons, mirroring his deceased brother's fate. As Duffy gets embroiled in a web of crime involving Max's family and ruthless antagonists like Sage Parker (Dermot Mulroney) and the formidable police detective Ellen Ridgeway (Jaime King), the stakes skyrocket, leading to intense confrontations and electrifying action sequences.

The film benefits from a stellar cast who infuse life into their roles. Frank Grillo's portrayal of Duffy, a man haunted by his past yet driven by a sense of honor, anchors the narrative with gravitas and intensity. Mekhi Phifer brings depth to the conflicted character of Max, whose loyalty to his family clashes with his involvement in the criminal underworld. Jaime King delivers a commanding performance as Ellen Ridgeway, exuding authority and menace in equal measure. Dermot Mulroney's portrayal of Sage Parker adds layers to the villainous persona, injecting the narrative with palpable tension.

"Lights Out" excels in delivering adrenaline-fueled action sequences, courtesy of impressive choreography and skillful direction. From bone-crunching fistfights to heart-pounding shootout sequences, the film keeps audiences on the edge of their seats throughout its runtime. The blend of martial arts and boxing elements adds a dynamic flair to the action, catering to fans of the genre.

However, despite its strengths, "Lights Out" falls short in terms of originality. The plot follows familiar tropes of the action-thriller genre, and the lack of significant character development limits emotional engagement. While the film delivers on its promises of pulse-pounding entertainment, it may leave some viewers craving more depth and nuance in its storytelling.

In summary, "Lights Out" is a rollicking ride packed with punches, kicks, and adrenaline-pumping thrills. With a strong cast, well-executed action sequences, and a compelling central performance by Frank Grillo, it delivers on its promise of high-octane entertainment. However, its derivative plot and lack of character development prevent it from ascending to greatness. For fans of martial arts and boxing films seeking a fun and action-packed experience, "Lights Out" offers a satisfying ride.

I score Lights Out a kick ass 7 out of 10.

Out now on Digital