Let’s be miserable.
Bull follows our titular character (Neil Maskell) as he goes on a rampage to kill everyone who betrayed him ten years prior. Why did he wait ten years? Because of a twist you’ll see coming a mile away. Honestly, this film is so bad that writing about it is giving me a headache.
This is the first Saban film I have watched and I wish I stated my prediction earlier. Based on their trailers, they look like serviceable genre flicks that need to slow down and polish things up a bit. Unfortunately, I was wrong.
Maskell is a fun actor who can be incredibly intimidating. The film doesn’t give him much to work with, but damn does he try. He is ruthless in his kills, most of which are offscreen or not shown to us, but there’s no visceral feeling behind any of the sequences. We know he was betrayed, they show us the scene of him in a burning trailer about thirty times (I am not exaggerating). Most of the film is flashbacks, but none of it matters.
The characters seem incredibly stupid. I tried to logic my way through the film and failed, miserably. Once you start thinking about the moving pieces it all falls apart. I’m going to have to spoil some stuff, so spoilers ahead.
Spoiler warning folks!
Bull is betrayed by his wife who is the mob boss’s daughter. She is a heroin addict and wants to take their son, Bull wants to keep the kid. The solution? Burn Bull alive. Since the daughter can get everything she wants (a line repeated too much by David Hayman’s Norm) there is no other solution.
What kills me with this is that we once again have a villain who is so over the top stupid that no one would work with him. If a presumably higher ranking enforcer can be betrayed by the whims of a drug addict, why stick around? No one protests this because the villains are all flat as pancakes and we need to get to our contrived revenge story.
How does Bull survive? Well, he’s a demon now, which is telegraphed heavily at the start of the film. Does this sound stupid? It is!
The technical aspects aren’t much better. We have a weird mixture of pretentious ear camera (if you know you know…), shaky cam, close-ups, and old noir stylings. There is not a consistent feel to the film as everything seems mishmashed. Overbearing music meant to elicit an emotional reaction is just distracting. Bad characters. Bad writing. Maskell’s performance is the only thing worth watching but he can’t save the film and isn’t given enough to do.
This is an absolute misfire of a film. Avoid at all costs.