It’s easy to start watching Tokarev, also released as Rage, with many preconceived notions. Its primary premise of a father trying to find the kidnappers of his daughter is reminiscent of Taken. Moreover, the revenge drama that it eventually leads into has also been done to death. But, sometimes it’s good not to judge a movie based on such notions. Tokarev might seem “familiar” initially, and it does have a few clichéd characters, but stick with it till the end and you are bound to be pleasantly surprised.
When ex-criminal turned good guy Paul Maguire’s (Nicolas Cage) daughter is kidnapped and then later killed (not a spoiler), he with the help of his old-time associates goes on a rage (hence the alternate name of the film I presume) induced hunt for the culprits. What we get as a result is slow disintegration of Cage’s character into his old self as his past catches up on him. It is this very breakdown, thankfully not sugar coated, which at one stage involves Cage’s wide eyed screaming mental trademark persona that keeps the story interesting.
Unfortunately, Cage has the only good character in the film. Most of the supporting characters, which includes Danny Glover, give wooden performances which aren’t helped much by the cringe worthy dialogues. Once again here the story comes to the rescue of the film. While watching the film it all seems by the book and predictable, but once all the cards are on the table during the climax, it is only then that the red-herrings come into notice and when you look at the picture on the whole, it manages to mix genres such as revenge, redemption, action, drama, mystery, suspense, and a social message quite well into a one and a half hour tightly wound package.
The action involving numerous gun fights, hand to hand combat, and car chases is diverse and excluding the shaky-cam at times is quite exceptional. Furthermore, even though some of the artistic shots that pop up during the film (you’ll know what I’m talking about when you do watch it) might seem out of place, they manage to break down the intensity of the action and slow down the film a little which in the end works well.
Tokarev, and I much prefer this title over Rage, is a revenge drama on the surface but at heart it presents an interesting look in the psyche of human nature wrapped up into a heavy cloth of guns and ammunition.
Title: Tokarev (Blu-Ray)
Running Time: 134 minutes
Release Date: 22nd September
Audio: Stereo 2.0, Dolby 5:1