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By John Higgins -April 25, 2024

To paraphrase an old cinematic quote that launched the 1990s – just when you think you are out, they pull you back in. OK, it was Al Pacino in GODFATHER PART III (or THE GODFATHER CODA: THE DEATH OF MICHAEL CORLEONE dependent on which version you prefer) so when a rusty old operative gets called back by dark forces to carry out one last job in Sunny Spain, he better listen.

Such is what faces returning veteran Fyre as he fights fire with his own inner in FYRE RISES, a new indie action-thriller from writer/director Paul Knight.

Former agent Fyre (Paul Marlon) has given up the law of the gun in preference to a domestic pacifist lifestyle in London with a wife and two children. However, his past still stalks him in the form of flamboyant honcho Priest (Aaron Sidwell) who threatens his family with the inevitable demise unless he carries out one last job in Spain.

Awaiting him is not only his final debt, shady Alejandro (Jake Canuso), but another agent, Hooper (Dan Richardson) of the shadowy organisation he once flourished under and Priest’s own dark angel keeping her beady eye on Fyre, Ellie (Tia Owomoyela), who will give the word to off his family if she doesn’t report back to Priest.

Fyre, however, is suffering from mistrust and a crisis of confidence stemming from a botched mission is Russia involving human trafficking a decade and a half before. It is clear that things may well remain unresolved…

Reminiscent of Nick Love‘s THE BUSINESS, with a little bit of TAKEN thrown in for good measure, this excessively violent on occasion indie thriller was shot over two years in three countries during the pandemic. Taking that into account, the film is quite an achievement with a stylish visual pallet encapsulating such a genre piece. The stall is set out pretty as it should be, with shady characters shadowing even more shadier figures in what is never going to be the most straightforward of goals for our main protagonist. This is not a movie where you are going to get subtlety or complexity in its’ delivery, but prepare yourself for the traditional throughline of immoral violence undercut with double-dealings at work.

That said, as a British indie thriller, the tone of the film does evoke memories of Steven Seagal‘s early work from NICO (ABOVE THE LAW) to OUT FOR JUSTICE. Marlon does make an ideal troubled soul of a main character, caught between a rock and a hard place like many classic British anti-heroes.

Technical praise goes to cinematographer Harvey Glen for the visual payoffs and composer Ian A. Hughes, whose score compliments the action atypical of the likes of Hans Zimmer and James Horner amongst others.

Credit is due to the production team for their endeavours here and I am sure there is more on the way from all concerned. This is a crowd-pleaser for the Saturday night beer-and-pizza crowd – and as a British indie encapsulating that classic high concept action vibe the American market caters for, we need much more of these. An added bonus is the brief, effective presence of Martial Arts legend Cynthia Rothrock, which will please fans of the long-established star and may even stimulate interest in her legacy of actioners over the years.

Full article can be found here: Film and TV now