When we think of a courier, people from Deliveroo, DHL or Royal Mail come to mind. Delivering our next meal, fancy new clothes or a love letter to a distant friend.
Well, that’s not what director Zackary Adler (“Rise of the Footsoldier 3: The Pat Tate Story”, “American Romance”) thinks about when hearing ‘courier’. Nope, based on his latest film, it’s something totally different. “The Courier” might not deliver the full package but it does deliver pure fun and an entertaining ride.
The totally beaten up Olga Kurylenko during that first scene gives us instantly the perfect idea of what this movie is about. A bad-ass chick who’s not afraid of putting up a fight. To discover how she got tied up in the chair, Adler takes us back to how it all begins. Weirdly enough that doesn’t start with Kurylenko as The Courier.
No, it’s all about Ezekiel Mannings (Gary Oldman), one of the most notorious murderers in America, who’s being put on trial. Probably a trial that will be over soon as there’s only one witness, Nick Murch (Amit Shah).
However, Murch is determined to put Mannings behind bars and he’s being brought to a highly secured facility in London to testify via live stream. But what is the use of a facility like that if there’s a murderous mole inside? Not much!
What should have been a relatively easily testimony for Murch ends in bloodshed, destruction, and death. Luckily for him, not his death as The Courier was there to drop off a package and to save him. They’re now both on the run and fearing for their lives as the corrupt FBI agent Bryant (William Moseley) and his team are still chasing them.
It even goes from bad to worse when their escape attempts fail and they get stuck in an underground parking lot together with Bryant and his shady agents. Who will leave the parking lot as a victor and who will leave in a body bag?
It might seem that the story of “The Courier” is a little bit far-fetched at some moments and that’s all told before in films in one way or another but still, there are still many reasons why you will gladly enjoy this entertaining film.
The biggest one is the action. When watching an action-packed movie it’s always the question whether it’s too much action, too over-the-top and just wrong. Well, in “The Courier”, there was undeniably a lot of action but it never was really over-the-top or just explosions overpowering the rest. No, there was the perfect balance between the action and the actual story.
It was exciting and thrilling and just had the right amount of subtlety (if there’s already such a thing in an action movie) to grab our attention the entire time. Ok, some special effects could use a little bit more precision and some make-up effects weren’t fully on-point but hey, we gladly forgive the team for those mistakes as they provide us with fun and entertainment for a while.
The element that keeps this film alive and heightened the action, even more, is the music. The upbeat and bombastic score gives “The Courier” a massive energy boost. Whether it’s the hard rock music or the vividly electronic music, it all comes wonderfully together. When you add the sound of squealing motorcycle tires or bullets being fired at a rapid-paced, you get a great music background.
Not only what we hear in the background is excellent but also what we see happening at the forefront is wonderful. Kurylenko (“Johnny English Strikes Again”, “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote”) is without a doubt the biggest star in this film. Fast, ferocious and all dressed in leather. Yep, she’s the bad-ass heart of “The Courier”.
During her standalone fighting scenes, she excels and becomes a powerful courier with a darker past, and when she’s acting alongside Shah, they both bring even more action and emotions to the screen.
Shah (“Last Christmas”, “Ordinary Love”) does that a very enjoyable and funny way. After seeing him in movies such as “Darkest Hour” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”, you might expect a little bit more high-quality performance from Oldman but he still puts on an amusing performance.
For Moseley (“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”, “Carrie Pilby”), it was the first time playing a baddie in a film and sadly that shows, especially at the beginning. His Bryant comes off a little bit too fabricated. However, after a while, Moseley’s performance becomes much better. Just a few more attempts and he will make a great villain in the next film.
One negative side when it comes to all the characters: They’re just a little bit too flat. We would have loved to see a little bit more depth and background story.
“The Courier” might seem a rip-off from films such as “Die Hard” or “John Wick” but don’t let that stop you from catching this movie. There’s action, a lot of fun, entertainment and very enjoyable performances. Nothing more but certainly nothing less either.
“The Courier” is now available via PrimeVideo and iTunes.
20th December 2019
THE QUICK SELL
A courier in London discovers that one of the packages she's transporting is a bomb.