Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jaime King, Antonio Banderas, Tommy Flanagan, Catherine Davis, Kim DeLonghi, Dylan Flashner, Keil Oakley Zepernick, Wayne Pyle, Aleksander Vayshelboym, Rose Lane Sanfilippo, John Wollman
Written by: Matthew Rogers
Directed by: Jon Keeyes
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 93
Date: 07/01/2022

Code Name Banshee (2022)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Far Cry

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

While it's great to see Jaime King confident in a straight-up warrior role, there so little actually going on in this flat action movie that it feels like it's the warmup act for a much better movie.

An ex-CIA man, Caleb (Antonio Banderas), has gone into hiding after a mission involving the Russians went bad. Caleb's partner has a daughter, Banshee (Jaime King), who now works as an assassin-for-hire. While on a job, she has a run-in with the deadly ex-special forces man Anthony Greene (Tommy Flanagan), who offers her $1 million if she'll give up Caleb's location.

She uses all her skills to escape, and then, teamed with her "man in the chair" Kronos (Aleksander Vayshelboym), tracks down Caleb herself. She discovers that he has set up a new life for himself as a bartender, and raising a daughter of his own, Hailey (Catherine Davis). But when Kronos is compromised and Greene finds out where Caleb is, the trio must prepare to fight for their lives.

King is the best thing in Code Name Banshee, as she demonstrates in a cool scene in which she's in an elevator, trapped by four armed henchmen on either side of the door. She drops to the floor, on her back, and with two quick motions, dispatches all of them. Some of the quiet scenes between her, Banderas, and Davis are also somewhat touching, a little broken family reunion. But quiet scenes are rare in this one. It's all about the shootouts: shootout after shootout, after shootout, etc.

Aside from that, the movie contains many useless flashbacks to Caleb and Banshee's father's failed mission, but even looking at the same footage again and again offers little illumination; none of it matters in the long run. And Flanagan's over-the-top performance as Greene is flat-out annoying, spouting creaky old things like "well, well, well!" and "little pigs! Little pigs!" in a threatening Scottish accent.

As the movie winds down after its final showdown, we realize that the real story is the two daughters, Banshee and Hailey, now teaming up and becoming a new force to be reckoned with. But that's just where Code Name Banshee ends. It's too bad no one saw the potential.

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