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Army of One

USA 2020
produced by
Stephen Durham, HemDee Kiwanuka, Mary Ann Barnes, Ellen Hollman, Niko Foster (executive), Ramon Vincent (executive), Gayle Blanks (executive), Terry Parrish (executive), David Dittlinger (executive), Columbus Short (executive), Aaron Norris (executive), James Harris jr (executive) for Chasing Butterflies Pictures, Split Point Productions, 2nd Nature Films
directed by Stephen Durham
starring Ellen Hollman, Matt Passmore, Geraldine Singer, Stephen Dunlevy, Gary Kasper, Cameron Bowen, Kendra Carelli, Jacob Hobbs, Niko Foster, Alan Moore (II), Casey Hendershot, Michael Konanec, HemDee Kiwanuka, Duke Jackson, Barry Hanley, Cade Shepard, Leon Ngo, R. Matthew Scheib, Jae Greene, Matthew O'Sullivan, Kenny Bartram, Rudon Brannon, Stan Sealy, John Leaptrott, Stephanie Lynn Styles, Jay Adkinson, Melissa McLaney, Jimmie Campbell, Carnetta Jones, Eric Easley, Debbie Sheridan, Adrienne Smith, Mark Kinney, Damaris Slaughter, Aviel Ayoung
written by Mary Ann Barnes, David Dittlinger, Ellen Hollman, music by Niall Mathewson, special effects makeup by Elise Prusaczyk, special effects supervisor: Nate Bright, stunt coordinator: Stephen Dunlevy

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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After a drug bust during which he got a nasty stab wound, cop Dillion (Mark Passmore) and his wife Brenner (Ellen Hollman) go on a camping vacation for his recuperation - after all, what could be more peaceful than a few days on their own in the woods. That is of course, until they stumble upon the secret drug and gun storage compound of local thug Butch (Gary Kasper) - and Butch is not at all happy about this, and having the element of surprise on their side, Butch and his men have no problems capturing and killing Dillion and Brenner, then dropping their bodies into a nearby ditch. Thing is, they haven't really checked, and it turns out they failed to kill Brenner, and Brenner is anything but the helpless wife of a cop and rather a highly skilled ranger with the army with all the skills required to take down a bunch of backwoods thugs. So soon, she starts to take down Butch's men one by one, but as she works her way closer to Butch, she learns that he's by no means just a smalltown crime kingpin, but a small cog in a well oiled organisation that has developed into a community with its very own laws over the years that's run by Mama (Geraldine Singer), who despite her little old lady image is ruthless as they come. And suddenly, the game has become about more than just revenge on the killers of her husband, as Mama's not of the forgiving kind and sends her men after Brenner, and to save herself, Brenner has to take on the whole organisation - which might be a load too heavy to lift even for her ...

 

Something of a mix of hillbilly horror and revenge story with more than a fleeting resemblance to First Blood, Army of One is first and foremost a very slick action movie that not only offers well-staged fight scenes but also is built upon a structure that allows build up of tension and suspense. And when it comes to action, the film's of the warts-and-all variety, with its protagonist being anything but invulnerable or infallible, with the deaths of many side characters coming as definite shocks. And Ellen Hollman really fills the boots as tough-as-they-come action heroine, supported by a very able cast, all making this pretty tight genre cinema.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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