Story: An elite assassin known as Sade (Laurence Fishburne) took out four people at a funeral, as part of a contract to eliminate targets, but he misses one detail, a witness. By the time he realizes she has seen his face, Sade has to play catchup as he pursues Bird (Ella Ballentine), a young girl who could identify him and end his run as a top gun for hire. She manages to escape and seek shelter in a farmhouse, where she encounters Carter (Thomas Jane) and begs him to hide or protect her. In order to preserve his shroud of anonymity in his work, Sade tracks her to the farmhouse and prepares for a siege, hoping Carter will just turn the girl over, however. But Carter is a former soldier with a past he isn’t proud of, so despite the risks involved, he decides to take a stand.

Entertainment Value: Ever wanted to see a movie where Laurence Fishburne and Thomas Jane have a long, dull conversation while on opposite ends of a staircase? No? Well, then Standoff might not be your kind of motion picture. That premise pretty much sums up this one, with most of the duration taking place as a forgettable negotiation plays out on a staircase, with some mild action scenes blended in to break up the boredom. The story is fine in concept and one that has been done before, but I have no idea why they chose to make it such a dull, monotonous affair like this. Fishburne and Jane are capable actors, but this is not My Dinner with Andre, so it fails to hold interest thanks to a weak script and general bad choices made by the filmmakers. I couldn’t find at all to praise here, though the opening funeral shootout has some outlandish moments. In general, I was bored to tears by Standoff and I simply couldn’t recommend this one to anyone.

As I said, the two leads here are more than competent, but neither is given much of a chance to shine or even show off a little of their talents. Laurence Fishburne as an elite assassin is a fun idea, but he seems far from ominous. He lumbers around and doesn’t show his usual level of screen presence, so hardly a menacing hitman. Thomas Jane has a humorous haircut here that helps, but otherwise he shows no real sense of stress or emotion, he just rattles off the script and collects his check. Jane has turned to a lot of not so memorable roles in direct to video movies, so I expect phoned in efforts from him, but Fishburne I expected more from. The two seem to have decent chemistry when they both make an effort, but that doesn’t happen often in Standoff. To be honest, even their biggest fans would likely have trouble finding entertainment in this one. The cast also includes Ted Atherton, Joanna Douglas, Jim Watson, and Ella Ballentine.

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