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[Nightstream] ‘The Doorman’ review: Average action movie

Look familiar?

An often used term to describe movies by would-be critics is “cliched”. If a story follows too many familiar plot points, it is unoriginal instead of comforting. It is rare to see a film lauded for being just like all the others.

Making its world premiere at the Nightstream Film Festival, The Doorman is a series of action movie cliches. The characters and tropes and the dialogue is expected. Anyone who has seen an action movie before will not be surprised by anything the film has to offer. But is that a bad thing?

If a movie is going to move passed being seen as just some clone, it has to do a lot of things right. This is especially true of a movie like The Doorman with a setting that will immediately evoke memories of Die Hard. It is unfortunate this film is never quite able to get over that hump.

Even worse, it seems satisfied to be a retread of better films. An argument can be made that is the point of The Doorman. It looks to forge its own identity by spoofing the tropes of others that came before it. It is not like other action movies, but making fun of them. If comedy is the goal, the delivery is poor meaning the jokes do not land well.

The characters are caricatures from other movies. Ruby Rose stars in the titular role. Ali is an ex Marine haunted by her past and suffering from PTSD. Jean Reno plays the art and opera loving villain Victor Dubois. There is even a fight on an abandoned floor of the apartment Ali works in.

[Nightstream] 'The Doorman' review: Average action movie

The Doorman has a solid enough opening. It is loud, obnoxious, and shows off Ali’s talents. It certainly is attention grabbing. The rest of the film is unable to keep pace, however. The action never raises above average the rest of the movie. 

The more subdued moments do not help matters. They are used merely as opportunities for the audience to cool down between the action. The Doorman’s issue is twofold. Along with the generic action sequences are uninspired moments in between. This makes the movie very difficult to enjoy.

The Doorman has its moments. Rose does well enough as an action hero. The script gives her enough to tease she could be a mainstay in the genre. At times, there is also a sense of fun to the film. This will enable many to sit through an entire viewing.

There is nothing wrong with a movie patterning itself after a classic. Going that route does open the door for comparison, however. This is the case with The Doorman. Its Die Hard lite plot makes it impossible to ignore the similarities. Even without holding up to a classic, the film is an average action movie that stumbles after a hot opening.

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