2015 / Director. John Lyde.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
It begins with admiration. Director John Lyde is part of a production company that forms a collective of filmmakers, and produces low budget independent content with fast turnarounds. Their business model is good and their output is prolific. I can't help but respect independent creative endeavours like this and I afford such cinema a lot of generosity.
But at the end of the day I must be honest, and Lyde's latest movie RIOT is pretty damn awful. With a terrible opening sequence, featuring some truly hideous music the film immediately announces itself as a contrived and stagnant effort. The story is dumb. It involves a ruthless Russian crime boss who lives inside a high security prison. Despite being an inmate he has his own retro-fitted deluxe cell (more of a luxurious suite) from where he continues to run his operations. Meanwhile a tough cop stages a heist so that he can be thrown into the system and ultimately bring down the syndicate.
This is really stupid stuff. The story is dumb, the script is wooden, the acting is lifeless and the action is slow and contrived. In fact you can see the choreography on the faces of each actor as they attempt to hit all of the right cues. Good ol' Dolph Lundgren has his mug on the poster, but his character is little more than a tag-along, lending his name to help the film along.
There is little more to say, and perhaps if seen on free-to-air television at 2AM, RIOT might earn itself a more favourable response. It's certainly not bang-for-buck material.