A hacker becomes a vigilante and causes a massive war between two cartels in this action thriller from the director of The 2nd.
Rick Calloway is an expert hacker who has been searching for his wife, who disappeared a while back. She has been kidnapped and has never been seen again. He thinks he may know who is responsible and goes after a cartel run by Frank Diego. When Diego has learned of Rick’s actions, he is convinced that Rick’s dad, rival cartel boss John Calloway, is responsible. John swears that he is unaware of Rick’s actions and promises to ensure nothing will happen again.
New York detective Mike Breslin has also been tracking down the cartels for the same reason, only his wife Shannon has apparently been murdered. When Breslin finds Rick in the middle of one of his “missions”, Rick is arrested but narrowly escapes. Determined to put Rick back in prison, Mike teams up with a local cop, Zoe Carter, to track down Rick. Meanwhile, the truce between Frank and John is set to be destroyed and soon enough, the two factions are ready to go to war with each other with Rick, Mike, and Zoe stuck in the middle.
This latest action film from Brian Skiba starts and ends on such an exciting note and those who love stories will twists will enjoy this film. What’s even more interesting is that involves two men, one a cop and the other a hacker turned vigilante, connected to two major drug cartels whose truce is threatened. While the cop is somewhat unorthodox, he does find going by the book as his endgame while the hacker uses any means necessary to exact justice and even has issues with his father.
While he has top billing in the film, John Cusack’s more relegated to more of an extended cameo in the role of cartel boss John Calloway. The film’s real two stars are Emile Hirsch and Jake Manley, the latter resembling a cross between Taylor Kitsch and Tanner Buchanan. These two are the heart of the film as both have agendas involving their wives being kidnapped or killed by one or both the cartel bosses. Despite Manley’s Mike having to find Hirsch’s Rick for the sake of going by the book, in some sense, he finds himself dealing with one complication against another while we see Hirsch go a route similar to the likes of Death Wish and even, The Exterminator.
John Cusack spends a lot of the film either on the phone with the rival or gives some sort of speech involving the “family” and “business”. However, what’s great is that it has been ages since this reviewer had seen legendary actor turned producer Andrew Stevens in a major role. This is the film to do it as he is excellent as rival cartel boss Frank Diego. We get a bit into his family dynamic as he has a son who is LGBTQ and because of that notion, he feels his son isn’t worthy enough to take care of business. However, Graham Patrick Martin’s John does prove his mettle while having a sense of respect for Rick Calloway.
Breslin’s partner Zoe is well played by Elizabeth Faith Ludlow and her boss, the wonderfully named Taye Biggs, is played by veteran William Katt. We get a bit of Carter’s backstory throughout the film as she makes conversation with her new partner. It leads to some shocking moments because it adds to the tension involving Breslin, Calloway, and the cartels. The final act leaves something open-minded for perhaps a sequel.
Pursuit is a wild ride of a film involving a cop and a vigilante connected but still uphold their sides with two cartels in the mix. Jake Manley is set to become an action star on the rise and Emile Hirsch is a great talent whose talents are untapped until now.
WFG RATING: B+
Lionsgate and Grindhouse Entertainment Group presents an Andrew Stevens Productions film in association with Cartouche and Milestone Studios. Director: Brian Skiba. Producer: Andrew Stevens. Writers: Brian Skiba, Dawn Bursteen, and Ben Fiore. Cinematography: Brian Skiba. Editing: Brady Hallongren.
Cast: Emile Hirsch, Jake Manley, Elizabeth Faith Ludlow, William Katt, Andrew Stevens, Graham Patrick Martin, John Cusack, Shelby Yardley, Alexandra DeBerry, Chris Jai Alex, Barry Hanley, Brittany Belt.
The film will be released in select theaters, On Demand, and Digital on February 18, 2022.