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'Close Range' hits all the usual war vet-versus-cartel bases on its way to basic cable

'Close Range' hits all the usual war vet-versus-cartel bases on its way to basic cable
Scott Adkins, left, and Jake La Botz in the movie “Close Range.” (XLrator Media)

Iraq war veteran-deserter Colton MacReady (Scott Adkins) turns up at a courthouse in Hermosillo, Mexico, and stabs a dozen members of a drug cartel within the first five minutes of "Close Range," all in an effort to rescue his kidnapped niece Hailey (Madison Lawlor).

Colton takes her to the Arizona home of his sister, Hailey's mother, Angela (Caitlin Keats), which makes it super-easy and convenient for the bad guys to find them. Crooked Sheriff Jasper Calloway (Nick Chinlund) quickly arrives on the scene, followed by drug lord Fernando Garcia (Tony Perez) and his 10 underlings. It turns out that Colton has killed Fernando's nephew and inadvertently taken a flash drive containing all of El Antibalas cartel's banking information.

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There's no characterization to the cartel members beyond freeze-frame title cards; they are interchangeable and expendable. Colton takes them on one at a time until the climax, and the ensuing standoff and cross-fire riddle Angela's home with bullet holes. The conclusion hatched by Adkins' frequent collaborator, director Isaac Florentine, is as inevitable as the film's basic-cable destiny.

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"Close Range"

No MPAA rating.

Running time: 1 hour, 25 minutes.

Playing: Arena Cinema, Hollywood. Also on VOD.

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