Wednesday, July 13, 2016
GRIDLOCKED isn’t exactly a comedy, but it has a sense of humor that occasionally clashes with nasty violence. I wouldn’t mind seeing this script performed by more charismatic stars than Purcell and Hackman, but they’re all we have. So the mismatched team of immature, irreverent bad-boy movie star Hackman (no relation to Gene) and gruff, humorless tough-guy cop Purcell — who, of course, aren’t getting along — pay a late-night visit to Purcell’s former colleagues at a SWAT facility forty miles from Manhattan (why a SWAT headquarters is way out in the cornfields, I have no idea). Bad timing, as the building is attacked by bad guys led by Lang (who is very good) and Vinnie Jones (EUROTRIP), ridiculously cast as a New York City cop.
With Hackman’s company putting up the production budget, GRIDLOCKED sticks pretty much indoors in a bland concrete warehouse somewhere in Toronto (some actors’ accents are distracting). What’s odd is there’s no reason for Hackman to be in it. After the first act, the film becomes a typical ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 knockoff with good cops fending off bad cops in a police station, and the relationship between Hackman and Purcell becomes superfluous. The action scenes are performed better than in most films of this ilk, and Lang is a strong antagonist. Hackman, who wears a continuously dopey look on his face, and Purcell — perpetually dyspeptic — aren’t exactly the Sunshine Boys, but thrown into the lively old-school action, GRIDLOCKED’ll do as a quickie Redbox rental. Believe it or not, one actor is named James A. Woods.