By: John M Jerva
Are you craving some bruising and brutal vengeance filled action? Well you came to the right place as actress Ellen Hollman stars in the new thriller Army Of One. Hollman, who will also be seen in the upcoming The Matrix 4, turns in a breakout action star performance as Army Ranger Brenner Baker who runs into a family of backwoods drugs and arms dealers while vacationing with her cop husband Dillion played by The Glades’ Matt Passmore who needs a break after taking out some nasty killers while getting injured in the line of duty.
Unfortunately, Dillion is killed when they are discovered but Brenner is only wounded which is a big mistake because once she comes to, she embarks on a one woman kill mission that literally takes revenge to a whole new level. He’ll have no fury I always say.
The bad guys who are led by the vile Butch (Kasper) and Mama (Singer) who is anything but sweet are truly bad and it’s brutally satisfying to see them get theirs as Brenner systematically carves them up left and right using her lethal skills she has honed as a special forces soldier. The villains should have done their homework earlier so they knew who they were dealing with.
The movie clocks in at just under 90 minutes so it’s moves and doesn’t stop until the equally satisfying conclusion. Director Stephen Durham knows what his audience is for this one and he gives them what they want. It’s not a happy movie mind you but there is a lot of redeeming factor to it let me tell you.
If you need to get nitpicky, the plot isn’t anything new but that’s ok because Hollman steals the show and while this is a smaller budgeted action pic, the fight scenes are low key but that works in its favor. I’m basically turning negatives into positives here but with a movie like this, it’s in your face and it hits you over the head with a blunt instrument. How’s that for an endorsement?
Hollman, who is a seasoned Jiu jitsu practitioner, has starred in a variety of action films and TV series like Starz’s Spartacus, Into the Badlands and NCIS: New Orleans. She is extremely comfortable when the action takes over and has now problem taking it to the men in the film and making it look authentic and believable.
I did like the way they made it seemed like Passmore would have a bigger role as he gets a rather exciting action sequence at the beginning but the film does a 180 and Hollman takes the driver’s seat for the rest of the movie and she’s in total control. It was a nice twist to a very familiar sub genre.
Overall: Army Of One is another revenge laced action pic but Ellen Hollman’s breakout action performance lifts it up to another level. You can tell she’s been in the action field for a while because she owns the physical aspect of it and also brings a sense of vulnerability to the role as well. The bad guys get what’s coming to them and the audience is in for one brutal and bumpy ride. I would love to see the character of Brenner Baker again and I definitely would love to see Hollman headline more ass kicking flicks.