Written By Hillary Block
I’m always slightly concerned when actors promote the life out of their movies. And this was one that Dwayne Cameron seemed to beat to a pulp on Instagram. I mean, I was excited for him, as on the surface it seemed like his first big break playing the son-in-law to Nicholas Cage. Unfortunately, the problem is that Nic Cage’s star has been fading for quite a while now. I remember working at a video store when World Trade Center came out, and we had a slew of inside jokes, mostly involving Cage’s very fake mustache.
But it’s Bray and although Bray isn’t my favorite, I’ve learned that Dwayne is a pretty decent guy, as are most of The Tribe cast, so I figured I’d give it a shot. A few days before 211 came out a friend and I (shout out to Amanda Mack!) watched the trailer. She in Savannah and I in Dallas. We both had he same realization that a 2 minute teaser felt like 7. Most of the great one liners in this review came from this text conversation. I didn’t want to use them, but here we are. Full disclosure.
The adventure started when trying to download the movie from iTunes. Or I should say rent. Most movies with Tribe actors I buy, but I figured for this I’d rent – my hopes already low. It was made even lower by the Rotten Tomatoes score of 6%. iTunes even tried to stop me from this train wreck, since the first download didn’t work and I had to confirm the purchase a second time. Even for the first 5 minutes, playback was plagued with starts and stops, as if the universe was telling me “STOP NOW AND DON’T LOOK BACK!”
I didn’t listen and powered through an hour and 28 minutes of this.
The plot is pretty basic, Old racist cop Mike Chandler (Nic Cage) and his partner / son in law / young and slightly less racist cop Steve MacAvoy (Dwayne Cameron) get to have a kid ride along on their patrol when some really bad dudes blow some stuff up, cuss a lot, and try to steal money from a bank. Apparently they are ex-military and have a sexy Interpol Agent trying to find them. It all gets pretty fuzzy. The movie is basically what feels like an hour long shootout during a bank heist, with the most disheartened faces from people who get to shoot guns.
There are moments when the acting is so bad I found myself laughing out loud. Dwayne himself half the time forgot he was playing a Massachusetts cop and delivered lines without changing from his natural Kiwi accent, but at least Dwayne was honestly trying, unlike Nic Cage who was phoning it in so hard Verizon should be his agent. The best acting honestly came from Michael Rainey Jr, who played Kenny, the kid on the ride along.
And even that had problems, which mostly stemmed from a terrible script. Written by York Alec Shackleton, but based on a screenplay by John Rebus, you don’t have to search far to see the issues. Yes, let’s victim blame the kid who’s being bullied and retaliated by punching someone, nearly getting himself expelled in the process.
I really wanted to like this movie. I don’t like having to say this stuff about Tribe actors, since I feel like we should be supporting them as much as possible, so when I say Dwayne should stick to painting, yeah it hurts, but his paintings are amazing. I wish I could get my time back from watching this. I’ll eat the rental cost I don’t care, I went in with low expectations, and yet, this was unfathomably bad.
To make matters worse, I made it to the credits. I like watching credits. There are hundreds of people behind the scenes who don’t get recognition for their work, and even though this was a terrible movie, I figured I should still watch them. To add insult to injury “Vice Principle,” scrolled up. Spelling errors in the credits. If that doesn’t tell you something, I don’t know what will.
I know here at THETRIBE.CO.UK we have a star scale for how good a movie is. Sure there are stunners (I’m pretty sure I gave The Dark Horse 5 stars) and they seriously earned those stars. I’m not even sure if I can do this, but I give 211, -5 stars. The stars it could have earned should go to The Dark Horse, giving it a grand total of 10 stars. Yes. That is how much I didn’t like this movie.