Painkiller is more of a mouthpiece than a movie. The filmmakers are so excited by the film’s premise, that they would rather table action sequences and tense showdowns to have discussions about Big Pharma and the opioid epidemic it seems to be encouraging. I admire their enthusiasm, but this attitude has distracted them from making a good movie.
It’s been quite some time since I’ve seen someone tell a story as passionately as Max Martini does in SGT. Will Gardner. His activism against the mistreatment of war veterans rings sincerely through the writing and direction of his first solo effort as a filmmaker, and he wears his heart on his sleeve as the title character. The film itself is imperfect, but my admiration towards Martini helped me be forgiving.