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Paul Maguire (Nicholas Cage) is a reformed criminal living a new life as a family man and husband. When his daughter is kidnapped in an apparent act of revenge for the crimes of Maguire’s youth he brings together his old crew to find out where his daughter has been taken. Waging war on the Russian mafia and stopping at nothing to deal out his own personal brand of justice, Maguire’s tough choices will lead to the truth behind his daughter’s disappearance.

 Tokarev
Initially thinking Tokarev was just Russian for Taken as Cage once again leads a movie that feels like a wannabe Liam Neeson outing, the story soon takes a turn that leads us away from the tried and tested Taken formula. With that said, that doesn't stop Tokarev feeling like a knock off of countless other revenge thrillers in terms of beats. There’s a whole lot of classic Seagal about this one, in that the action scenes are a little lacklustre but a bit grittier than expected and it never quite feels polished enough to be called slick. It’s also quite clunky in terms of how the plot progresses and while the big twist is pretty good, its all a bit late in the game given what’s come before it. It's played like a devastating reveal that ties into Maguire’s own character but it just missed the mark for me somehow. I’d go into that more but I wouldn't want to spoil it. I will say, it is a good twist but getting there is a slog.

It seems Cage is essentially doing the same movie over and over again of late and for me at least I just don't think he's that great in this sort of role. Not only is the film a bit flat, Tokarev feels like the it’s trying to be the best of the movies Cage didn’t get to star in, combining the likes of Taken and Jack Reacher without really delivering the good like those much better put together action  thrillers. Cage plays this one fairly level headed, which made him a much more grounded leading man this time out but it still doesn't stop his performance feeling phoned in and a bit of an easy gig for the star.

 Tokarev

Video


The image here is bright and fresh even if the style of the film is rather bland. Shadowing is varied in depth and blacks generally work across the entire spectrum on show (especially Cage's died black hair). Skin tones are natural and glow well under the largely naturally lit locations and sets and the image generally has a nice glow to everything.

Night based scenes loose their crisp edges to a slight degree but the film is still lit well enough to achieve the desired HD pop. Blacks get a tad more grubby in places but its nothing too distracting and generally speaking textures still hold up even in very low light situations. Weirdly the final act goes for something entirely different and decides to steal its visuals from Tom Cruise action thriller Jack Reacher, The image goes for street light coloured visuals giving everything a bronzed look and its all extremely Jack Reacher looking, even down to Cage's choice in jacket.

The only thing that really lets this all down is the rather cheap feeling style of the film. Its all a little too bright and creamy colourful at times and it stops the tonally darker scenes from carrying much weight. The visuals are very much akin to a half decent TV show and even though the image has its highlight and consistently feels high definition, there's no real escaping the low to mid-range budget here and there's a certain level of texture and detail lacking when you'd expect to see them.

 Tokarev

Audio


The track here is pretty average really. The score ramps up the volume a fair bit and uses the front and rears pretty well at times but beyond the well balanced score vs dialogue levels theres not much going on to fill the track out. Sound effects don't really call much attention to themselves unless its a door being kicked in or there's something loud to remind us to pay attention to the scene.

The bass beats along under all of the unraveling plot, adding a bit of pace to the proceedings but again its all rather generic and standard for this sort of thing and doesn't reach beyond the bare minimum requirements. This is a pretty solid track that sometimes breaks out of the core basics of an action thriller but its generally just ticking boxes with no real extra oomph could have lifted the rather stagnant plot.

 Tokarev

Extras


The only extras here are a batch of 'Deleted Scenes' (06:44 HD) and a
Trailer.

 Tokarev

Overall


The best thing I can say about Tokarev is that it's watchable. I really struggle with Cage lately, especially some of his kookier character choices but there's none of that here. Its basically a Cage on straight forward mode going through the motions of a uninspiring action revenge thriller. The disc looks pretty good, sounds pretty good and has a real lack of extras, so this one might be for die hard Cage fans.

 Tokarev


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