Dead Drop doesn’t do or say anything that you haven’t already seen in dozens of straight-to-DVD features or cheap movies-of-the-week on cable – I don’t know how else to expand on that. It’s a xerox of a photocopy that’s been faxed and re-printed.
A basic action no-brainer like this one usually acts as a stepping stone for up-and-coming star. The leading muscle in Dead Drop is played by Luke Goss, who has starred in the sequels to 2008’s Death Race. Here, Goss branches out from his comfortable franchise, but hesitates to play the role of Michael Shaughnessy as anything but an empty meathead. The movie doesn’t show audiences what Goss is capable of. He plays Shaughnessy with no personality and limited emotional response, which is peculiar for a character who has been pushed from 3000-feet out of a plane and left for dead.
Director R. Ellis Frazier follows a typical revenge plot as Shaughnessy tracks down his killer. Just like Goss, Frazier doesn’t bother to make anything thrilling or entertaining. Even the fight choreography has been undercut by a limited range of moves, suffocating cinematography, and an easily excitable editor. Screenwriter Benjamin Budd at least provides a recurring theme of how backstabbings can affect a betrayer, but Budd overuses that method of characterization to a point of monotony.
I know some movie goers seek out lesser known schlock in hopes of finding a hidden gem or guilty pleasure. No matter how forgiving those audiences are, even that crowd will find themselves bored and fooled by Dead Drop. In a time when VOD is showing more aptitude, R. Ellis Frazier can’t afford to make a movie like this.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie