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This year has seen a drastic change in female survival movies. The protagonists no longer suffer from being exposed to the male gaze. There is still the element of danger of tension and danger; now, the female leads are no longer treated as objects. The movies are actually interested in telling a story instead of selling sex disguised as woman empowerment. This is a welcome change, but has it led to good movies?
Army of One stars Ellen Hollman as Brenner Baker, the United States Army’s first female Ranger. When she and her husband Frank go on a routine camping trip, they run into danger that leads to both getting shot. Frank ends up dead but Brenner survives the attack. This leads her to go on a mission of revenge that will not end until she is the only one left standing.
Revenge stories can be a very fun genre when done right. There is an immediate emotional hook. The movie also makes sure that the villains are unlikeable. Butch (Gary Kasper) is a little on the generic side, but he will definitely elicit hate from the audience. From gun running to slavery, these bad guys do it all and there is nothing redeemable about them.
Army of One also makes sure to play to its strengths. This means plenty of action scenes and no long exposition dumps. Each fight is well shot and exciting to watch. At times, the film plays out like a series of missions that Brenner is on. These are engaging moments that also make those watching care more about Brenner. They also do a great job of showing off her skill set.
Little of this would matter if Hollman did not do her part as the lead. If the audience does not believe the heroine can survive the ordeal, the movie becomes a parody not worth watching. Thankfully, Hollman does an excellent job as Brenner. She keeps Army of One exciting while giving a badass aura to Brenner. It adds to the fun.
The movie falters a bit when it comes to the script. Things can get a little too cheesy and there are some plot contrivances towards the end that probably sounded better on paper. These moments are noticeable, but will not diminish anyone’s enjoyment of the movie. Overall, Amy of One is an exciting revenge film when it focuses on the action.
British action film that loves its references
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