DVD Movie Review | AWOL-72 (Lights, Camera, Action!)

By Sam Edwards 19.09.2015

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AWOL-72 (UK Rating: 18)

On the run from multiple threats, an AWOL marine seeks a perfect life for himself and his wife. AWOL-72, written and directed by Christian Sesma (with additional writing by Cecil Chambers), is an action-thriller starring Luke Goss (Blade 2, Hellboy 2) and RZA (of Wu Tang Clan fame). Available on DVD and Video on Demand from Monday, 21st September, AWOL-72 is bound to either entertain or bore fans of the action genre.

Split into two different plots, one with more action and one focusing on drama and detective work, it seeks to be interesting but falls flat. AWOL-72 takes place in the modern world, apparently in California. Conrad Miller (Goss) is an ex-marine gone AWOL who possesses military intelligence and is on the run from multiple threats. Detective Adams (RZA) is after Conrad, but is seeking more than justice - answers as to why Conrad went AWOL in the first place, found by constantly following and questioning Conrad's girlfriend (played by Heather Roop). The danger doesn't lie with Detective Adams, though, instead a hitman from the military is seeking to bring Conrad to his own form of justice. Things aren't always as they seem, with a few predictable plot twists, but it's still an ending everyone should be able to see coming.

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Where it tries to succeed, it ultimately fails. Full of potential, the tale is pretty simple and doesn't go beyond a cat and mouse game with some random acts of violence thrown in. The acting is incredibly laughable at times, while at others it's fairly decent, but those decent times only come from Luke Goss and RZA. There are a few scenes (with multiple flashovers to RZA and Roop) in the movie where Goss ends up being held hostage by some rednecks with guns, and these unnecessarily long scenes (roughly 20 minutes or more, in total) aren't needed and were probably just added to pad out the movie. The writers should have removed the extra 20-minute hostage scenes and focused more on developing the pursuit plot and possibly thrown in some more action sequences, for good measure. The mystery behind Goss' character and his motives also are not a huge surprise when finally revealed and, in fact, it is probably the most predictable twist, other than the big reveal in the end. 'Thriller' is far from what anyone should call this film, as the thrills come and go faster than the Audi featured in the movie itself.

Very few positives can be drawn, all of which have nothing to do with the dull plot. The camerawork is excellent, for instance, as the cinematographer did a great job of capturing the claustrophobic atmosphere in buildings, warmness of the beach, and the emptiness of the desert. The action scenes, however few and far between, are very well choreographed, and the gunplay can be pretty epic at times. Also, despite the acting not being the strongest aspect, RZA does an excellent job playing a concerned/persistent detective and Luke Goss equally delivers an amazing performance, playing an overall badass. Although few, the positives may help viewers finish this motion picture.

Rated 4 out of 10


AWOL-72 sought greatness, but instead fell flat on its face. With some great action sequences, two strong leads, and potential for a good pursuit story, why did it fail? Perhaps the aspirations were too big for this motion picture and maybe it should have just stuck to a generic action plot instead of trying to pull something different. Ultimately, viewers who want an action movie will feel well and truly cheated.

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