Ruby Rose gets a chance to lead a full-blown action thriller and gets help in the form of celebrated Japanese director Ryuhei Kitamura.
Alexandra “Ali” Gorsky is an ex-Marine who after an assignment in Romania resulted in the accidental death of an ambassador’s wife and daughter, has returned home to New York City. Wanting to get over what has happened, she gets information about a job as a doorman at a luxury hotel that’s being renovated during Easter weekend. Ali soon gets the biggest shock when she learns staying in the hotel are her estranged brother-in-law Jon and his kids Lili and Max. At first, she feels uneasy towards her family, but eventually, she accepts their invitation to dinner to try to make amends.
Meanwhile, Ali’s boss Borz is revealed to be the point man in a major heist involving some rare artwork, hidden inside the apartment of an elderly partner of the very suave Victor DuBois. DuBois and his team arrives at the apartment, but learn the former partner now has Alzheimer’s. DuBois learns that the paintings are in another apartment, which happen to be Jon’s. When Ali steps out, she learns of the situation involving DuBois and his team. When she learns Jon and Lili are held hostage while Max disappears, Ali soon must revert to her training to stop the villains before it’s too late.
This action film has two things it should rely on: the direction of celebrated Ryuhei Kitamura and lead star Ruby Rose, fresh off her amazing villainous turn in John Wick Chapter 2 and her stint as the titular Batwoman. It seems like despite the fact these two could have elevated the film to badassdom, this ends up being looked at as a run by the numbers Die Hard rip-off with the fights ultimately being a mixed bag.
The issues seem to lie mainly in one element: the story. While it’s great to see Ruby Rose as a PTSD-stricken ex-Marine and that’s the good thing, the story elements involving the villains just seem more like a cluster[censored] than making any sense. First, we have Jean Reno’s villain DuBois as a man who treats the finer things in life as if he’s a connoisseur. Why a former partner would hide paintings worth millions of dollars for so long just gives off a vibe that will make you make a “huh?” face. The fault is definitely not on Rose as it’s clear she is making the best of a situation when it comes to playing the redemption-seeking Ali.
While one would have loved to see Reno in some sort of action-making capacity, his DuBois comes off as if Hans Gruber didn’t do anything but sit there then entire film and what if he didn’t fall off. Again, blame the story on this one. Aksel Hennie also makes the best of his role in Borz, the point man who doubles as Ali’s supervisor. He comes off as nice until his true colors come out when it’s go time. The film also wastes the talents of Daniel Southworth, Hideaki Ito, and David Sakurai as the fight scenes just come off as a throwback to 80’s blockbuster films and do not bring enough chutzpah into them. At least there is a bit of redemption towards the final set action piece which made me breathe a sigh of relief that the final set piece is actually pretty good.
The Doorman could have been a great vehicle for Ruby Rose. However, shoddy story elements and some less than exciting action make this well, a meh movie but does show some redemption in its final action scene.
WFG RATING: C-
Lionsgate presents a Smash Media and Double Dutch International production. Director: Ryuhei Kitamura. Producers: Shayne Putzlocher, Sara Shaak, Phin Glynn, Michael Philip, Jason Moring, and Harry Winer. Writers: Lior Cheffetz, Joe Swanson, and Devon Rose; story by Matthew McAlester and Gregory Williams. Cinematography: Matthias Schubert. Editing: Matthew Willard and Shohei Kitajima.
Cast: Ruby Rose, Aksel Hennie, Rupert Evans, Julian Feder, Louis Mandylor, Daniel Southworth, Hideaki Ito, David Sakurai, Kila Lord Cassidy, Jean Reno.