Inconsistent Tone and Poor Choreography: a Critical Look at a New Action Film

Inconsistent Tone and Poor Choreography: a Critical Look at a New Action Film

The Weapon


Genre: Action, Thriller
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 25m
Director(s): Tony Schiena
Writer(s): Michael Caissie
Cast: Tony Schiena, AnnaLynne McCord, Sean Patrick Flanery, Jack Kesy, Cuba Gooding Jr., Bruce Dern
Where To Watch: available now digitally, On Demand, and DVD

RAVING REVIEW: THE WEAPON takes us on an action-packed ride with Dallas (Tony Schiena), a lone avenger on a mission to take down the criminal mastermind and rescue his former love, Iris (AnnaLynne McCord), who is held captive. Dallas courageously faces menacing biker gangs and ruthless drug cartels, inviting viewers to wonder about his driving force and true intentions.

The film suffers from a low budget and a lackluster script. Cuba Gooding Jr. delivers a standout performance, but the remainder of the cast struggles to keep up. With very little time spent on character development, the narrative relies heavily on poorly executed flashbacks, leading to an unbalanced story.

The movie's low-budget nature is apparent through its substandard sound effects and unconvincing CGI. I generally try to find the best in films, but sometimes it feels like someone owed someone a favor, and no one was interested in making it the best they could. The film leaves viewers with more questions than answers but not in a good way. One of the best pieces of advice I could ever give a filmmaker is to work within their limitations, and if they can’t accomplish something realistically on screen, then use creativity to work around it.

The plot, effects, and acting combined for a confusing experience. Director and star Tony Schiena needed more help to deliver a cohesive narrative; the flashbacks never separated themselves from the rest of the film. Characters seemed to have poor judgment even with common sense scenarios, often plunging headfirst into apparent dangers.

Schiena's film faces numerous challenges as an indie directorial debut, ultimately succumbing to the pressure. The disjointed editing adds to the narrative confusion with jarring transitions and an inconsistent tone. The fight scenes progress slowly, with choreography that needs more authenticity. There’s nothing less entertaining than a fight scene that doesn’t look even remotely real.

Schiena's direction leaves much to be desired, with THE WEAPON feeling more like a vanity project than an actual passion project. The cringe-worthy dialogue and uninspired action sequences further detract from the film's overall quality.

In conclusion, THE WEAPON disappoints in the indie action genre. Hindered by a tangled narrative, mediocre acting, and low-budget production values, the film falls short of its potential, becoming a forgettable experience.


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[photo courtesy of LIONSGATE]

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