Blu-ray Review: 10 Minutes Gone (2019)

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10 Minutes Gone is a risky title because if you multiply that by nine, you'll have what you'll feel at the end of this movie when you realize that it took eight-nine minutes (of your life) to lead you to a conclusion so predictable that it's telegraphed within the first five.

In a nutshell, Gone is one of those VOD heist flicks where a group of crooks said to be the best call each other by their real names during a big score that inevitably goes wrong. Only this time, Michael Chiklis is knocked out after a botched job and wakes up ten minutes later with the loot gone, his brother (and partner in crime) dead, and no idea who made it happen.

Not mano a mano but robber a robber, with Bruce Willis breathing down his neck because somebody pocketed the jewels that he hired them to steal from a bank vault, Chiklis tracks down everyone involved one by one to see if he can figure out just what exactly transpired during those ten crucial minutes.

Bringing along his brother's girlfriend who — hindered by a bad script and an unconvincing portrayal by Backtrace's Meadow Williams — reacts to the news that her lover died by flatly saying “That can't be right. Shit,” Chiklis travels from one shootout to the next.

An awkward film which suffers from third rate crime movie dialogue delivered by actors who look as though they had just been told their lines before cinematographer Peter Holland's cameras started rolling, what the script by first time feature screenwriters Kelvin Mao and Jeff Jingle lacks in logic, 10 Minutes Gone makes up for in guns and squibs.

By now a veteran of the video on demand filmmaking trade, perhaps knowing that on paper, this thing is not the sharpest tool in a safecracker's shed, director Brian A. Miller does his damndest to ensure that his action sequences are there to distract.

Spending a majority of the film's budget on visual effects to make each gunfight pop as though every battle was the standoff at the O.K. Corral — only set in nondescript warehouses with indistinguishable production design — 10 Minutes Gone serves up some of the most impressive shootouts of Miller's filmography so far.

While Willis' suave presence looks good on a poster and he turns in a serviceable, if slight performance, besides the action, the real thing elevating Gone from being a flat out awful movie is Michael Chiklis who carries everything on his ample shoulders.

Registering more emotion throughout the film than the entire ensemble cast combined, Chiklis reminds us just how effective he is on the screen in — as he acknowledges in a behind-the-scenes Blu-ray featurette — the same type of role he's played throughout his career while carving out a niche in the cops and robbers genre. And even though he deserves something worthier of his talent, he's routinely strong here, regardless of whom he shares a scene with or the wooden dialogue being exchanged before the bullets start flying.

Yet action and Chiklis aside, unless you're a superfan of the actor or it shows up on cable TV when you're in bed with the flu, in the end, there's just not enough to salvage Ten Minutes of being worth ninety of your time.

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