Land of Bad - Film Review
The Avenue
Land Of Bad is exactly what it says on the tin — a Delta team and a rookie Air Force combat controller tries to turn a mission gone wrong into a rescue mission, and needless to say, things get 'bad'. Directed by William Eubank, the film was written by Eubank and David Frigerio. Land of Bad wastes no time in getting into the story as it almost immediately introduces the Delta Force team and our main character Kinney, played by Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games), and their "guy in the chair" Reaper — back at base played by the incomparable Russell Crowe (Gladiator). It is not a story about how he ends up doing something heroic and getting respect from the rest of the team; Kinney instead has to fight for survival with only Reaper for support.

The main thing to address is the character development in this film. Luckily, it trims off a lot of the dead weight early on, and this is where Hemsworth’s performance shines through; Kinney is fairly naïve at the beginning, but as the film goes on, we see him endure some things that result in his maturity and becoming a more experienced and independent character. He has great chemistry with Sugar, played by Milo Ventimiglia (This Is Us,) who plays the captain of the Delta team, as he seems to be a guide in this new violent world Kinney finds himself in. The standout performance, however, comes from Crowe, who acts as their intel guy. He spends almost the entire film back at base communicating with Kinney through an earpiece, and he works almost as a guardian character as he keeps him safe and tells him where to go and what exactly to do.

Land of Bad isn’t an overly violent film. It includes moments of shocking violence and light torture, but it avoids glorifying any of it like maybe a Tarantino movie would. None of the characters seem happy about what they have to do, which is good — this makes the characters feel more human and much easier to relate to. It never paints these characters as some super-human, John McClane-type character who doesn't die no matter what they go through. There are no impossible stunts or incredible feats of strength that humans can't realistically achieve. Land of Bad is more grounded and relatable.

Some could say the plot was either too muddled or too simple. While there is a main story going on, the other backstories are just hard to care all that much about. It’s not explained why the Delta Force is carrying out their mission and how it shifts into a rescue mission. Though it still works, the story could have been a little stronger. The back story concerning Reaper, where he can't get along with everyone else at the base, feels a little unnecessary. However, the third act is thoroughly enjoyable; Land of Bad is gripping, which is what you want from a movie like this.

Land of Bad appears to be a slow burn until it hits one pivotal moment, and then, all hell breaks loose.

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