Review: EXPO (2019)
A man with a troubled past and a certain set of skills must rescue his kidnapped daughter. No, it’s not Taken 4, it’s a much lower budget piece of mayhem by the name of Expo. It’s the latest from writer/director Joseph Mbah (Krampus Origins, Genesis: Fall of the Crime Empire) and his Paradox Universe production company. It’s a reasonably successful attempt at microbudget action that takes an absolutely bizarre turn in its last few minutes.
Richard (Derek Davenport) has been having a bad few years. His military career ended on questionable terms, and he’s just gotten out of jail. He’s working for an upscale Uber-type company, trying to reconnect with his daughter Sarah (Amelia Haberman, Krampus: The Reckoning) and build a future with new girlfriend Angie (Amber Thompson).
However, when a client’s daughter Lyla (Hayley Vrana) is kidnapped while waiting for him to pick her up, he falls under suspicion. When Sarah is kidnapped, he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. Thrust into a world of human trafficking, he has three days to find the girls before the unthinkable happens.
Expo is a fairly standard low budget action film. There’s a fair amount of fights and gun play, but the lack of budget rules out explosions and large scale firefights. This was really noticeable in the final scenes. The raid on the villain’s headquarters is done by Richard and a handful of plainclothes cops. Not a SWAT team, as you might expect.
The fights are ok, but could use a bit of work. The same could be said for the script, which has some weak spots. For example, a scene where Richard disarms himself to prove to some goons he “just wants to talk”. Surprisingly, they beat the shit out of him but leave him alive rather than just kill him. For the most part, though, the plotting works, even if it’s very familiar.
As I mentioned, the last few minutes of Expo go off in a totally different direction involving weird science and conspiracy theories. It feels really out of place and tacked on. But it does set up the by now mandatory sequel or even a franchise I suppose.
Expo is a watchable enough film for those that don’t mind the low budget and lack of pyrotechnics. It’s available on digital August 3 from Green Apple Entertainment.