Riot full movie review - Aside from a few sparks, Riot is a prison made from jumbled mess of narrative and choreography, there's not much reason for a visit.
Formula for Riot is simple; put haphazard fight scene in prison, followed by random investigation of corrupt cop, crime syndicate or elaborate conspiracy, then do it all over again for one and half hour.
I dislike speaking ill of actors when they are trying to broaden the characters, but the acting involved here is weak. Furthermore, the action sequences can be too timid or exaggerated, sometimes in the span of same few minutes, in exception of a couple of decent performances.
If there is a convoluted way to present B-movie, this is it. There are so many interweaving subplots, from the cliché dead wife vengeance angle, the pursuit of dirty cops, sudden undercover agents. At one time there's even the daughter of the villain who strolls from out of nowhere, gives a speech while another subplot happens simultaneously, then leaves. The script looks like every plot from similar movies scrambled together in one joint.
Dolph Lundgren plays as a socially awkward inmate who might have shady secrets, however his attempt to portray a more simple man is very bland. It like seeing a giant pretending he's shy even though he towers above practically everyone. Meanwhile, Chuck Liddell delivers one of the most unconvincing villains in recent years. He seems emotionally detached and the odd accent doesn't help much either.
Action scene, where all the hope lies, is unstable. Some extras either look confused or overly zealous. At one point some civilians would act ridiculous hammy then running to the wrong way, the next moment there's a guard who is hit by a punch and does somersault to sell the move. Fight scene can look good, but it's mostly the actors doing slow choreography and the usual punching the air motion.
The good points here are the main lead Matthew Reese, who looks like a proper action star. He presents the better action scenes which is a level above the rest. The other most notable performance is surprisingly Danielle Chuchran as supporting female. Her role is simple, but she does more heavy lifting than most actors here, doing decent fight scenes as well as average Mission Impossible espionage stuff.
The movie is a spectacle as noisy and messy as the title suggests. Aside from one or two good instances, this jumbled mess of narrative and choreography is not an appealing case for a visit.