Land of Bad

Land of Bad

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No cliché should be left behind

A special forces unit of the US Army is ambushed by an enemy base somewhere in the south of Philippine while they are on a mission to recover a captured intelligence asset according to Land of Bad, the latest movie directed by William Eubank (Underwater).

As the special forces team, Liam Hemsworth, Luke Hemsworth, Ricky Whittle and Milo Ventimiglia co-star, while Russell Crowe stars as AF Capt. Eddie Grimm ‘Reaper,’ an Air Force drone operator who tries to lead the men to safety back at base. He is supported both professionally and personally by Chika Ikogwe as Staff Sgt. Nia Branson.

But what about people who love deep and interesting stories as fans of action movies will like Land of Bad? All that and more can be found in our Land of Bad movie review.

Land of Bad Movie Review

Land of Bad isn’t anything new with its premise – a soldier becomes trapped behind enemy lines after a mission goes wrong – but it’s far from being bad either. AF Sgt. JJ Kinney (Liam Hemsworth) is the soldier in question, who finds himself alone and lost when he gets separated from his squad for reasons that we won’t spoil here.

While it may have a familiar set-up, this doesn’t stop Land of Bad from being enjoyable; there are some great action scenes throughout and quite a few tense moments too. Eubank does well as director, showing off gung-ho heroics on screen (sometimes in rather graphic detail when things get particularly violent). But for all its thrills though, the script isn’t up to scratch – there’s just too many cliches and cringe-worthy moments packed into it.

But familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt; sometimes you’ll roll your eyes instead at how thick and fast they come. Old soldiers ribbing newbies? Check. Rookie leaves alone but has to save the day? Check. Remote guidance from a man who’ll do anything to bring his guy back home? Check. You could have a game of Bingo with Land of Bad’s set-up alone.

The film doesn’t stop there though; there are other moments too, including a scene where Crowe’s drone operator takes a break and plays a quick round of golf, despite being supposed to be focused on leading his soldiers to safety – it’s odd, but then again so is the rest of the movie, such as a sequence towards its end where Grimm wanders around inside a supermarket for no apparent reason other than ambling.

In fact incredulous also are scenes of men at base who should be answering calls from the on-the-ground soldiers but instead turn their phone’s ringer off to watch a basketball game. They incur Grimm’s wrath for their lackness but still choose not to follow his instructions because of what they’re seeing on TV.

The plot is pretty thin too – little is known about the men’s mission or their enemy, except that they have to break into some criminal compound and extract something valuable. Suffice it say if you’re after realism when it comes down war stories politically relevant Land of Bad shouldn’t be your first choice.

However, if you are looking for a stupid B-movie filled with fast-paced action and big bangs, this will be mindlessly entertaining in its own way. It’s the stunt team and visual effects guys that really shine here; Kinney is made to do things that are totally unbelievable for someone of his experience level, and bombs fly through the air courtesy of CGI only to slam into whatever they’re supposed to blow up. So it does have its moments, excitement-wise.

It is just a shame about the script: there are more holes in it than a piece of Swiss cheese, with dialogue which hardly ever sounds real and plot twists that bear no relation to anything else. If your brain can switch off then you might still find it enjoyable. But take it too seriously and you’ll end up as mad as Crowe’s character who takes a golf club and smashes the TV in at base!

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