By: Anthony Francis
A man is being chased. The men after him catch their prey and beat the hell out of him. They are after something important. With a P.O.V. shot of a kick to the face, so begins the new Strike Back Studios production “Overrun”.
Omar Zadir stars as Marcus, a former military specialist trained in the Martial Arts. He works for bad dude Ray (Robert Miano) doing thug work and wants out. Ray tasks him with the job of getting a mysterious briefcase that is of great importance to him.
This will hopefully help Marcus save his sister, who has gotten on the bad side of Ray.
Everything goes badly, as two cops (William Katt and Johnny Messner) throw a monkey wrench into Marcus’s escape with the briefcase.
The twist? Messner is a good cop, but Katt is crooked and works for Ray. He is supposed to kill Marcus but is overpowered and blows it. This leads to Katt’s character sitting down with a crime boss named Dubkova, whose son was killed during the scuffle with Marcus. Katt tells Arkadi that it was Marcus who killed his son. Now everyone good and bad is after him, as Ray has kidnapped his sister while Dubkova has put out a hit on Marcus; one million dollars dead, two million alive.
With the plot in full motion, underworld baddies start coming after the bounty and Marcus’s head.
Ballista Grey (Monette Moio) a beautiful and deadly assassin, The Pachinko brothers (Kevin Makely and Michael Wayne Foster), two bumbling killer siblings, and Phoenix (Noah Fleder) a vicious killer who is said the be the “real life Jason Bourne” are the assassins that are vying for the bounty.
Marcus is guided through his journey by his friend Auggy(Jack Griffo), a cliched and annoying character who is a tech wizard and will keep Marcis alive the best he can.
Arkadi Dubkova is played by the great Bruce Dern, who does not have enough to do. He’s damn great in his few scenes but if you put Dern in a film, use him!
The always great William Katt continues his career of impressive performances as the corrupt detective. The design of his character is a bit strange, as his fedora and trench coat make him seem as if he stepped out of a detective film from the 1950s (much in the same way Robert Loggia seems out of place with his 40’s Noir cop demeanor in 1985’s “Jagged Edge”). Costume aside, Kattdoes a great job as the weary, over the hill, detective working for both sides of the law.
And let us not forget the great Nicholas Turturro, who shows up as “Doc”, a friend of Marcus whose crafty explosive knowledge leads to a fun sequence in a junkyard where every step could mean death by explosion.
Omid Zadir does well as Marcus. Thankfully he refuses to play the character in the standard stone-faced antihero manner. While not exactly Marlon Brando in the acting department, he gives Marcus a sense of humor that makes him likable, and he looks good in his fight scenes.
Zadir is a stuntman and lifelong Martial Artist experienced in Muay Thai. His skills help bring a realism to his fight scenes and the hand-to-hand combat is exciting to watch.
The cast is good, and the fight scenes certainly come alive. Director Josh Tessier handles the overloaded plot well and makes his action scenes shine. Punches fly and there are more hand grenades are tossed than in a war film.
“Overrun” should not work so well but it does. The cast and well-crafted action help this to become an exciting and always involving little thriller.