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Now that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is supposedly mulling a transition to politics, like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Hulk Hogan before him, Hollywood is training up former WWE-contender Dave Bautista, AKA Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy, to be the next action-man star. He’s not a bad choice, as his work in the Marvel films demonstrated, and can offer a judicious mix of Johnson’s gentle likability and Arnie’s droll comic timing.
Both are on show in this efficient boilerplate action-thriller. Set at Upton Park during a European football match between West Ham and “Dynamo”, the film posits Bautista as US former soldier Knox, who is attending the game with Danni (Lara Peake), the cockney teenage daughter of a fallen fellow soldier. Wouldn’t you just know it, it’s their bad luck to be at the match on the very day that Russian-speaking terrorist separatists have slyly planted explosives in the stadium and cut off access to the outside world, while the chief terrorist searches for his long-lost brother. The latter turns out to be Pierce Brosnan, deploying an appallingly unconvincing Slavic accent but sporting a dashing silver beard.
As the game plays out with everyone else unaware of what is unfolding, Danni is separated from Knox and he gets drawn into a series of hand-to-hand match-ups with the baddies, while there is comic relief provided on the sidelines by Amit Shah in a scene-stealing turn as a hapless steward.
The whole thing is being marketed as Die Hard in a football ground, although there are other movies that set more of a precedent, such as the star-laden Two-Minute Warning from 1976, or Sudden Death from 1995, in which Jean-Claude Van Damme had to save America’s vice-president, who was being held hostage in the VIP lounge during a hockey match.
Final Score puts a cheeky British spin on the set-up, and it’s hard not to smile when an American character gets thumped for calling the sport soccer instead of football.
Source: The Guardian
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