By: John M Jerva
The Good: The new action-thriller Assault on VA-33 is another entry in the never ending assembly line of Die Hard clones that features a lone hero who must save the day when terrorists take over an enclosed space with time ticking away and disaster looming everywhere. This time it’s Sean Patrick Flanery, who’s been doing the action thing as of late, starting as a decorated Army veteran who must dust off his dormant skills when the bad guys take over his local VA hospital.
Flanery delivers a fine performance as usual and is one of the few bright spots in the film and does an admirable job in both the dramatic scenes as well as the action sequences. It was fun to see Flanery throw down and use some of his fighting skills with martial arts and action legend Mark Dacascos who has a small role as a ruthless terrorist which is the definite highlight of the lackluster actioner.
The Bad: The movie does nothing memorable for the genre and it features veteran tough guys Michael Jai White and former wrestling superstar Rob Van Dam who are wasted in their roles and are not featured at all in any of the action. I can never understand why films put these types of actors in action movies and proceed to squander an opportunity. It should be against the law.
The movie looks cheap and the editing is questionable like in the Flanery/Dacascos fight scene where Mark is delivering his moves but disappears off camera for a few seconds. I’ve seen enough action films that did it much better where the camera pans back so we can actually see the talent do what they do best. Where’s Jesse V Johnson or Sam Hargrave when you need them? The rest of the action is forgettable and when it was over, I had a hard time remembering anything besides the aforementioned fight scene.
Aside from Flanery, there aren’t any other sympathetic characters and Nicolas Cage’s son Weston Cage Coppola is miscast as the villain. He does the best he can but I just kept wondering why White or Dacascos wasn’t the main baddie. They world have been more formidable and the finale might have been more memorable.
Overall: Assault on VA-33 borrows from other much better films like Die Hard and Assault on Precinct 13 but you’re better off watching those films or knock offs that have done it much better in the past. With the level of talent involved, this is one huge misfire to say the least. There’s no need to spend anymore time on this one.
Assault on VA-33 is now playing on Digital and VOD platforms