Plot: Michael Knox (Dave Bautista) is a special ops soldier who has traveled to London, but his trip isn’t a pleasant one, quite the opposite. After his close friend was killed in combat, Knox has made plans to visit the widow and her young daughter, Danni (Lara Peake), to see how he can help. As it turns out, Danni has coped with her father’s death by distancing herself from her mother, not to mention getting into trouble a lot more often. Knox wants to connect with her, try to get her back in the right frame of mind, and help her get her life back on track, though she seems resistant. When he takes her to a big sporting event however, she begins to relax a little, at least until terrorists take control of the stadium and all chaos breaks loose. Now Knox has to use all of his special ops skills to try to take down the terrorists and save thousands of lives, but even for him, that will be no simple task.
Entertainment Value: Final Score seems like it should be a fun watch, a Die Hard clone with a colorful cast and an overly convoluted narrative, but I found it to be rather dull and forgettable. I like a lot of the movie’s potential, as it has a good amount of action, ridiculous plot, and eclectic ensemble of talent, but it rarely translates into a fun ride, instead it comes off as mediocre. I appreciate how ludicrous the story is here and as the movie unfolds, the narrative gets more and more needlessly complicated, but it doesn’t have that b movie appeal. The plot makes no sense, but it doesn’t reach that magical level of craziness that has you wondering what the hell is going on. So what could have been a wild, unpredictable story settles for piling on tedious twists that add little and just slow the pace. And while Final Score does have a fairly consistent flow of action, it still felt slow to me, as the action scenes were not creative or memorable. The fight scenes were the best of the lot, but even those don’t pack much of a punch, mostly basic, by the book style fisticuffs. The action isn’t poorly crafted, it just doesn’t spark much reaction, as it is all basic, generic set pieces lined up one after another. I’d rather have fewer, but creative action sequences, rather than a host of bland ones. If you’re an absolute action addict, perhaps you have more fun with Final Score than I did, but as it stands, it is hard to offer a recommendation here.
The cast was the reason I looked into Final Score, as a movie with Dave Bautista and Pierce Brosnan in prominent roles seems like an interesting pick. I think Bautista is a good action star and he brings more to the table than just his brawn, but he is limited by the material in this case. The scenes of exposition aren’t good enough to let his persona shine through, while the action sequences don’t showcase his action hero skills, so it is kind of a wash. He is able to pull some fun moments out of the fire here and there, but not enough to make the movie work. Which is a shame, as this role takes little advantage of his skill set and to me, that means a lot of potential was left unfulfilled. The same holds true for Brosnan, who has a smaller role and little to do, though his facial hair is quite epic in this one. The final main player is Ray Stevenson, who is a capable villain, but again, underused in Final Score. I just think with three talented performers like these, the movie should have tailored to the roles more to the stars, to let them elevate the otherwise mediocre material.