DVD Review: Stand Off

When it comes to films that wind up in theatres for Brendan Fraser they always happen to be family-oriented. He’s the king of PG and PG-13 films that are awful yet somehow manage to make money. And yet somehow he pops up in more adult-oriented fare every now and again. Whole Lotta Sole was slated to try and find a niche in theatres as an Irish/UK comedy like The Guard did a short while ago. Unfortunately for all involved it didn’t find the same sort of “word of mouth” that the Brendan Gleeson had.

It’s a simple premise. Jimbo (Martin McCann) owes a lot of bad people a lot of money. When he opts to rob a food market on freight day he winds up in the office of an American (Brendan Fraser) minding an antique shop for his cousin. Taking a number of people hostage, including Fraser, Jimbo has to figure a way to square everyone away without going to jail.

Entitled Whole Lotta Sole internationally, with the title of Stand Off for North American audiences, the film couldn’t find an audience for some reason. It’s a shame because it’s a genuinely affecting film with Brendan Fraser showing off his comedic chops with the requisite material to make it funny for those over the age of 12.

That’s the one thing about most of Fraser’s films that always seem to leave you underwhelmed: his exasperated mannerisms always seem to be for naught because the material isn’t quite there. Him reacting to genuinely funny material is rewarding after all the years of awful kid films.

Stand Off itself is a bit uneven, trying to balance some fairly weighty dramatic material with comedy. Terry George doesn’t have the smooth touch (and terrific screenplay) of John Michael McDonagh but he’s good enough to make it worth the while. Stand Off is worth a view, if only on a rental.

The film’s trailer is the only extra on the DVD.

Ketchup Entertainment presents Standoff . Directed by Terry George. Written by Terry George and Thomas Gallagher. Starring Brendan Fraser, David O’Hara, Colm Meaney, Martin McCann. Running time: 89 minutes. Rated R. Released: March 26, 2013. Available at Amazon.com.

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