Standoff: Exactly What You’d Expect


In the directorial debut by?Adam Alleca (Last House on the Left), a grieving father defends a little girl in his own house while a hit man waits at the bottom of the stairs with a full arsenal of death. Fortunately, the father is the war veteran Carter (Thomas Jane); unfortunately, he only has one shell left in his shotgun. As the day wears on, he trades barbs with the hit man, Sade (Lawrence Fishburne), exposing more of their internal wounds than their external pain.

The plot itself revolves around the little girl seeing Sade execute someone for his employer. In an act of bravado, he removes his mask to show the terrified woman that she’s already dead because she’s seen him. With that one foolish maneuver, he sets the whole film in motion, absurdly, but it sets up the drive of the film.

While the film won’t score major points on plot curves, it’s certainly presented in a way that will appeal to fans of Tarantino … or Woo. Balloons float, pianos slam, and the slow drip build provides us some amount of emotional care for Carter and the girl, Bird (Ella Ballentine). But nothing you see here will surprise you – it’s just a question of how much you love Fishburne!

Interestingly enough, Carter and Bird exchange thoughts on the afterlife midway through the movie. Carter’s grief – and guilt – have driven him to the edge; Bird provides him with some small token of ‘belief’ or reason to live. She quotes a mantra of her father’s — “there’s no quit in me”– that becomes the movie’s pulse, forcing back both Sade’s evil and the darkness that threatens Carter himself.

This one won’t blow you away but you may find yourself engaged by the ridiculousness of it all!

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