US. 2021. Action/Sci Fi
94 min
Director: Joe Carnahan
Cast: Frank Grillo (Roy), Naomi Watts (Jemma) Mel Gibson (Ventor).

Trendy Hollywood.

Hollywood is always about trends. Boss Level is the new product that uses a theme that has suddenly become semi-recurring: time loop. This theme became part of the lore of science fiction/fantasy with the classic Groundhog day. In 2017 we had the funny Happy Death Day (and then its sequel) that combined the time loop with the slasher genre. Then in 2020, we were able to enjoy the very well done Palm Springs, taking this subgenre to explore new and deeper possibilities. In Boss Level, the creators added something new, combine it with the action genre. Just like an arcade action game, when coin after a coin is spent over and over again until you are finally able to defeat each boss.

A violent Groundhog Day

Frank Grillo - Boss Level (2021)
Frank Grillo – Boss Level (2021)

We meet Roy, a former member of the special forces. Using a voice-over he narrates how he is trapped, living the same day over and over again. But if this circumstance is not pleasant enough, every day Roy is hunted down by a colorful group of assassins who seek to end his life. And the worst thing is that every day without exception, they achieve it. Roy takes a breath to examine what his «yesterday» was when he visited his ex-partner Jemma. She is a scientist who is part of a high-tech physical project at the Dynow corporation, led by Clive Ventor. Roy knows that in some way, that visit to the lab has to do with his strange situation. And little by little, Roy will have to discover that the implications are more significant than he could have ever have thought, not only for himself but the whole world

Light and fun.

Boss Level (2021)
Boss Level (2021)

The story does not take itself too seriously. Focusing more on action and humor than the metaphysical aspect of the condition Roy finds himself in. The whole purpose is to have fun and the film manages to accomplish that goal. Yes, the story has many holes, but taking the movie lightly, invites us to relax and enjoy the trip. The assassins are notably peculiar, and the various ways in which Roy dies every day make it an enjoyable albeit somewhat bloody journey.

Many purists will criticize the film for the use of voice-over. It is considered a cheap resource for the scriptwriters to use voice-over since usually it shows a case of lazy writing and a poor choice to tell a story. Show me, don’t tell me, is what they say. In this instance, is indeed a good tool. The voice-over helps the story move faster. But even with this choice to speed up things, the rhythm is not constant and there are several moments when the story drags

Grillo’s show.

Frank Grillo - Boss Level (2021)
Frank Grillo – Boss Level (2021)

Frank Grillo has become a very compelling action hero. In addition to his macho man attitude and his ability to perform action scenes convincingly, he knows how to give a humorous touch to the part with good timing. The other actors have little to do with the limited time screen they have. Since Naomi Watt’s character is constantly under observation we can give her a pass for not showing much. Maybe just a lack of effort from her. Mel Gibson has fun playing the villain Ventor. As for the action scenes, they are exciting, without being spectacular. We get to see some very good stunt work all around. But what gives the movie an added flavor is its excellent use of various classic rock songs on its soundtrack. Throughout the film, we can hear songs by Boston, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Badfinger, and Roy Orbison at appropriate times.

Popcorn flick.

Frank Grillo - Boss Level (2021)
Frank Grillo – Boss Level (2021)

Overall it is a fun movie. Its pace is not constant. The rhythm accelerates, stops, and then accelerates again.. There are several situations throughout the film that can lead to a better creative path. But Grillo’s performance, the action sequences, and the overall humor make Boss Level an enjoyable option for a weekend when you do not feel like seeing something very complicated. Just unplug the brain and have fun.

Delirium score

Grillo leads with force and humor. Some entertaining action scenes and a nice soundtrack. Nothing spectacular but a nice weekend view

Written by Guillermo Garnica Bouchot

Music Lover, Comic Reader, Film Buff, Cat Person.



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