“Falcon Rising” is filled with so many action-flick cliches it could serve as a text on how not to do things.
Broken bodega robbery? Check. Bad guy’s head pushed down in a toilet? Check. Ostensible good guy turns out to be bad? Check. Bouncer taken out with one kick to the head? Check.
Our hero surrounded by thugs, taking all of them down? Check, check, check and check. This film is basically variations on that oh-so-familiar scene.
The one new idea introduced here is a cure for post-combat traumatic stress. Apparently the cure is committing acts of violence. Our hero starts out with all sorts of flashbacks to a bloody battle, but as the film progresses and he pulverizes more and more people, the flashbacks fall away.
Let’s hope this theory doesn’t catch on with therapists or we’re all in trouble.
The aforementioned hero would be John Chapman, played by the much-muscled Michael Jai White. Chapman is living a drunken, wayward life in New York City when he finds out his social worker sister has been beaten badly in a Brazil slum. So he flies down there and beats everybody up.
OK, maybe not the entire population of Brazil, but a whale of a lot of people. It turns out Chapman’s sister had uncovered a child prostitution business being run by — who else? — the Yakuza. Apparently the Japanese crime organization is big in Brazil, so a lot of the people Chapman beats up — and shoots and stabs — have tattoos. He even manages to squeeze in time to maim a number of natives.
After he’s killed a significant portion of the population, Chapman is offered a job working for the United States.
Of course, he is.
And so the path to sequels is paved. Let’s hope that’s a path no one ever follows.
Rated R for violence throughout, and some sexual references/content
Running time: 103 minutes