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DEAD SHOT (2023)

Release Date: 08/18/23 [Cinemas / VOD]
Genre: Action. Thriller.

Studio: Quiver Distribution. 

"A retired Irish paramilitary witnesses the fatal shooting of his pregnant wife by an SAS officer. After outwitting the SAS, now wounded, and presumed dead, he escapes, taking his revenge to the dark and paranoid streets of 1970's London." 


I started Dead Shot having only seen the poster. I was pleasantly surprised by the film’s visuals and aesthetically pleasing cinematography. I had made the mistake of judging a movie by its poster, which made it seem like I might have a straight to Redbox misfire on my hands. While the movie is more than competently directed and shot, it lacks likable characters and I felt a disinterested detachment from them and the dangers they face throughout the movie. 

Highlights of the cast include Mark Strong and Colin Morgan who both deliver gripping performances. Strong brings a charismatic yet subtle performance as a man in a powerful position leading a secret British task force. Morgan delivers a gripping performance as a heartbroken widow who seeks revenge for the murder of his pregnant wife by a British sergeant (Aml Ameen). The movie speeds down a winding road of revenge with no happy ending in sight. The movie is effective in creating tension despite having characters who are difficult to sympathize with or relate to. Action set pieces are well produced and the set and costume design help create a gritty, underworld atmosphere of 1970s London. 

I feel obligated to mention I have no background on the history of this time in the U.K. Or ‘The Troubles’ time period the movie covers. Without having historical knowledge, I had to take the film at face value without historical context. From my outside perspective, it seemed like the movie recreated the turmoil of this time admirably but didn’t provide much context for people like me who aren’t familiar with the historical background. I feel like if I took a history class covering this time period, I would appreciate the film’s efforts more. 

Overall, Dead Shot had good intentions in recreating a chaotic time in the United Kingdom. This revenge thriller has solid performances all around and commendable set design and action set pieces, but underdeveloped characters and an uninspired, cliche revenge story leaves me with a revenge dish best served stale.

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