Friday 8 March 2024

REVIEW: Land of Bad (2024 Film) - Starring Liam Hemsworth, Russell Crowe, Luke Hemsworth, Ricky Whittle, and Milo Ventimiglia

Review by Jon Donnis
Are you a fan of big explosions and the sound of never ending gun fire? If you answered yes then read on.

"Land of Bad" lands squarely in familiar territory for action movie aficionados, but it manages to navigate through its clich├ęs with the help of a stellar cast and some well-executed moments of intensity. Directed by William Eubank and penned by David Frigerio, the film takes audiences on a rollercoaster ride through the South Philippines, blending explosive action with a dash of suspense.

At the heart of the film is Russell Crowe's portrayal of Reaper, a grizzled Air Force drone pilot thrown into the chaos of a rescue mission gone awry. Crowe brings depth to his character, infusing Reaper with a gruff exterior masking a sense of duty and determination. His performance adds weight to the film, anchoring it amidst the flurry of gunfire and explosions.

Backing Crowe is a strong ensemble cast, including Liam Hemsworth as the green but determined Sergeant Kinney, Luke Hemsworth as the steadfast Sergeant Abell, Ricky Whittle as the reliable Sergeant Bishop, and Milo Ventimiglia as the seasoned Captain Sweet. Each actor brings their A-game to the table, elevating the film with their chemistry and commitment to their roles.

"Land of Bad" doesn't shy away from its action-packed premise, delivering plenty of adrenaline-pumping sequences that keep viewers on the edge of their seats. From intense gunfights to heart-stopping scenes, the film knows how to ratchet up the tension and deliver the thrills expected from the genre. Additionally, moments of humour sprinkled throughout provide brief respites from the relentless action, adding some levity to the otherwise grim setting.

However, despite its strengths, "Land of Bad" struggles to break free from the constraints of its formulaic plot. The story feels all too familiar, following a well-trodden path seen in countless war films before it. Without the star power of its cast, the film might have blended into the background of generic action fare. I also found the first 20 minutes a bit dull. But once it got going, it was enough to hold my attention.

Clocking in at around 110 minutes, "Land of Bad" also overstays its welcome slightly, with some pacing issues hindering its momentum. Tighter editing could have helped streamline the narrative and maintain a more consistent pace throughout.

In summary, "Land of Bad" may not reinvent the wheel when it comes to action thrillers, but it manages to deliver an entertaining ride thanks to its strong performances and pulse-pounding action sequences. While it may not offer anything groundbreaking, fans of the genre and the actors involved will likely find enough to enjoy here. With its solid execution and standout moments, "Land of Bad" earns a respectable 7.5 out of 10.

Out now on digital at