A Dumb Action Movie (But Not In The Fun Way)


Dangerous is an action movie with a unique premise, but its poor writing, stiff acting, and lack of charm make the 2021 movie borderline unwatchable.

The 2021 action thriller Dangerous fails on multiple levels. The siege movie contains all the right parts for a fun B-movie experience: great character actors, a fun setting, and a deliciously hammy protagonist. And yet the execution never quite gets the recipe right. Dangerous is an action movie with a unique premise, but its poor writing, stiff acting, and lack of charm make the 2021 movie borderline unwatchable.

Directed by David Hackl and written by Christopher Borrelli, the film centers on a “reformed sociopath,” Dylan “D” Forrester, who finds himself at the center of a criminal conspiracy that threatens his family. When his brother Sean dies unexpectedly, Dylan travels to the remote island where his brother was converting an old navy base into an inn. Part-way into the wake, the building is sieged by a group of armed men looking for something Sean had in his possession. This leaves Dylan with a choice: either regress back to his “dangerous” sociopathic urges in order to save the few people he actually cares about, or remain neutral in order to maintain his emotional and psychological progress. Predictably, he relies on his violent talents to save the day.

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Dangerous Kevin Durand

Scott Eastwood stars as Dylan, the sociopath who uses medication and therapy to essentially curb his murderous impulses. He is helped via phone by his flawed therapist Dr. Alderwood (Mel Gibson) and is being pursued by Agent Shaughessy (Famke Janssen) of the FBI, all while trying to take down the captors, led by a menacing — yet very dapper — man named Cole (Kevin Durand). There are a number of thugs who get the occasional line of dialogue, as well as several friends and family members from the brother’s wake. Notably, Dylan’s mom is there and is not shy about expressing her open disdain for her “insane” son.

The story in Dangerous is convoluted, and the lack of overall vision plagues the movie. There are far too many characters and competing storylines. The central conflict is the mystery of what the armed men are after, but there’s also the mostly background story of Agent Shaughessy very slowly heading to the island to intercept Dylan at the funeral. Dylan’s broken relationship with his mother is another major conflict for the protagonist, as is his inner struggle over how to act ethically in this situation. Dylan is at the center holding all of these various threads together, and the actor is not successful in any regard. Whether the issue is misguided direction, shallow writing, or simply a miscast actor, is unclear; what is clear is that Eastwood cannot carry this movie.

Dangerous 2021 Dylan D Forrester

Because Dangerous doesn’t really understand its main character, the entire movie suffers. Dylan is supposedly “reformed,” but it’s never really clear what that means. There are many allusions to his sordid past, but nothing concrete that explains why he is on parole (and not in jail), why his mother hates him, or why the FBI want to recapture him so desperately. When Dylan flippantly comments on how many people he’s killed, the character is being earnest, but the movie frames the line as halfway between dark comedy and cold-blooded cool. Dangerous desperately wants Dylan to be both funny and impressive — but the character is so underdeveloped that any attempt at either cancels the other out. The choreography does nothing to make Dylan seem like a particularly skilled fighter, while his vaguely threatening remarks just make him off-putting. Eastwood lacks the visceral charm of a likable sociopath. He comes across as dull, unintentionally funny, and lame.

The tone in Dangerous swings wildly between action-thriller and action-comedy, and it’s never quite clear what this movie is trying to be. The funniest moments are clearly meant to be dramatic, while the attempts at humor fall painfully flat. The message in Dangerous is just as confused as Dylan is. The protagonist repeatedly claims throughout that he’s “not insane” — at one point, he even argues (to a child no less) that being an antisocial, violent criminal is just because he has a different perspective on the world. He downs lithium regularly and does breathing exercises as part of his treatment. While his mother is unconvinced that he could have changed, he demonstrates that he has — but then immediately leans into rediscovering his true self (i.e. the violent murderer). What could have been a poignant commentary on mental health or even a satisfying redemption arc is eschewed for what comes across as a glorification of antisocial violence. It’s irresponsible, and frankly dumb, but was almost certainly accidental — revealing just how carelessly and incompetently the movie was put together.

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Dangerous was released in theatres and on-demand on November 5, 2021. It is 109 minutes long as is rated R for violence and language.

Our Rating:

1 out of 5 (Poor)

  • Dangerous (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021

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