Director: Terry Miles
Cast: Steve Austin, Serinda Swan, Danny Trejo, Keith Jardine, Lochlyn Munro
Run Time: 90 mins
A cop turns vigilante after his family is murdered, exacting vengeance on the killers - and then on all criminals who have slipped through the system. When honorable police officer Ryan Varrett's (Austin) entire family is brutally murdered, the one-time good guy cop is forced to go rogue - breaking the laws he once swore to uphold in his quest for justice. The primary targets for Varrett's revenge are a murderous biker gang, driven by their cold-hearted boss, Drayke (Trejo) and a corrupt local police force. Aided only by a local girl (Swan) with her own vendetta against the gang, Varrett will become a one-man-army and local hero for the community.
A solid outing for Stone Cold fans here, Recoil delivers plenty of what you want and unashamedly assaults the action genre with guts, attitude and tons of energy. Let's be clear - it's not a new concept, but does it really need to be? Here we get to see Mr Austin strap someone to a car and send it driving into a factory (with obligatory fire hazards), set people on fire, shoot them, slice them and, more broadly, beat them senseless. Handled here with slick style and pace, if this is what you want, there isn't a dull moment.
Steve Austin plays the silent badass he has come to be known for (for other good examples see Damage and Hunt to Kill) and tackles the role and physicality well. Screen legend Danny Trejo features here in a colourful performance as the psycho-villain, and is given enough screen time to offer a strong nemesis for Austin's rogue cop. Serinda Swan (TV's Breakout Kings) gives a good and believable performance as the local girl with a shady past who helps the stranger and doesn’t resort to some of the other stereotypes you might expect. For the most part this is by-the-numbers but feeds into exactly what it is we want from genre films such as this. If you want solid action entertainment and to see Stone Cold slowly tear the town into pieces, you've come to the right place.
In terms of visuals, the film looks slick, stylish and yet still moody, courtesy of director Terry Miles and cinematographer Bruce Chun. In short, there is just the right balance between slick camera presentation (with nice, crisp visuals particularly on the Blu-ray presentation) and grainy, hard-nosed action. Occasionally, some choppy or unnecessary editing detracts from the impact of (particularly) the fight scenes but for the most part the fight action delivers in strong doses. Another name deserving credit for this is stunt choreographer Lauro Chartand who blends the gang-style, street fighting element with some innovative bonuses like a brutal knife fight, solid shootouts and some cool stunts. All working in synergy, Recoil is a welcome addition to the genre and marks another successful outing for the beastly Steve Austin.