Combustible Celluloid Review - Section 8 (2022), Chad Law, Josh Ridgway, based on a story by Brandon Burrows, Christian Sesma, Ryan Kwanten, Dolph Lundgren, Dermot Mulroney, Mickey Rourke, Scott Adkins, Robert LaSardo, Maurice Compte, Geoffrey Blake, Tracy Perez, Kimi Alexander, Justin Furstenfeld, Jessica Medina, Paul Sloan, Dan Matteucci, Mary Christina Brown, Robert Laenen
Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Ryan Kwanten, Dolph Lundgren, Dermot Mulroney, Mickey Rourke, Scott Adkins, Robert LaSardo, Maurice Compte, Geoffrey Blake, Tracy Perez, Kimi Alexander, Justin Furstenfeld, Jessica Medina, Paul Sloan, Dan Matteucci, Mary Christina Brown, Robert Laenen
Written by: Chad Law, Josh Ridgway, based on a story by Brandon Burrows
Directed by: Christian Sesma
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 98
Date: 09/23/2022
IMDB

Section 8 (2022)

1 Star (out of 4)

Dead 'Eight'

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Directed by Christian Sesma (Paydirt, the appalling Every Last One of Them), this cynical "B" action movie plays like a series of ticked-off check boxes, rather than an intricately woven story, running its sad hero through the ringer and growing ever dumber as it goes along.

Jake Atherton (Ryan Kwanten) is a former soldier now working at an auto body shop with his Uncle Earl (Mickey Rourke). He struggles to pay the bills, but he's happy with his wife and son. One day, a group of men arrive at the garage and demand protection money. Jake refuses, they threaten him, and he takes them down with a lug wrench.

Soon after, he arrives home and found that the men have taken their revenge by murdering his family. He exacts his own revenge, shooting them all in cold blood in a local bar. He goes to prison, where he's approached by a mysterious man, Ramsey (Dermot Mulroney), with an offer. Jake winds up working for an elite task force of secret assassins, but when an assignment goes wrong, he finds himself on the run for his life.

The various sections in Section 8, the war, the body shop, revenge, prison, etc., are all just lined up, one after another, without much finesse. The Jake character goes through an unprecedented amount of bad fortune, and handles it with a morose expression that stays the same throughout the entire movie, as well as looking more and more like he just crawled out from under a bridge. The character's costume and makeup, consisting of a scraggly beard, uncombed hair, and a leather jacket that looks as if it smells to high heaven, are a curious choice.

The movie's meager budget shows throughout, from its overly-choreographed, shaky-cam fight scenes, to the fact that it looks as if Rourke was almost never in a room at the same time as any of the other actors. Dolph Lundgren and Scott Adkins are here, too, but somehow likewise feel dislocated from the proceedings, brought in only when needed.

Dialogue is ridiculous as well, from stale chestnuts like a soldier saying "watch your six" to a hitman saying "wakey wakey!" to his sleeping prey, but also weirdly earnest sermoning ("this is my block!"). As Section 8 crawls toward its conclusion, which includes a ludicrous double-twist and a final "are you kidding?" ending, it's best not to ask too many questions about what's going on or why. The whole thing will fall apart, and into more than eight sections.

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