Every Last One of Them opens on an ominous note, a hard-faced man walks down a street in what looks like a bad neighbourhood in an equally bad town as an assistant soundtrack booms away. He’s Jake Hunter (Paul Sloan, The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson, I Am Wrath). And as the patrons of the local titty bar are about to find out, he’s not someone you want to piss off.
This gets him roughed up and in the custody of the local police, because the bar is owned by Mr. Nichols (Jake Weber, What Josiah Saw, The Beach House) and he owns the town. It doesn’t take him long to escape, steal a police car and get back to doing what he came to town to do. And that’s to find his missing daughter. And you just know Nichols has something to do with it.
Director Christian Sesma (Take Back, AWOL-72) was one of four writers who worked on the script for Every Last One of Them. The other three, Matthew Thomas Edwards, Chee Keong Cheung and Alistair Cave were all involved with the British zombies versus special forces epic Redcon-1. In an interview, Sloan said the original version was a stripped-down revenge thriller set in the UK and Sesma reworked it for its US setting.
Here the scope is a little more restrained than the end of the world. Former black-ops agent Hunter’s investigation puts him in the middle of a scheme to acquire water rights that are worth billions. And that puts him in the sights of Nichols, his sister Maggie (Taryn Manning, Orange Is the New Black, The Vault) and the hired guns of their security firm. In other words, it’s Taken draws First Blood in Chinatown.
As this kind of mid-level action film goes, Every Last One of Them is about mid-level. It does try to add a bit of depth with Hunter’s flashbacks to the events leading up to the disappearance of Melissa (Claire Kniaz, Pooling to Paradise) and his regrets over them. But they’re not overly compelling and start to feel like filler. Similarly, the water rights angle is introduced as if it’s going to be a major factor in the plot and then disappears into the background. It ends up barely being mentioned except as another reason for the bad guys to want Hunter dead ASAP.
The film does deliver on the action scenes. There’s a fair number of fights, shootouts, etc. and they’re well-staged if not spectacular. The violence also frequently gets a bit more brutal than usual for this kind of film. That goes along with the film’s plot and overall tone which takes an unexpected turn and gets a bit darker than I was expecting.
Every Last One of Them also benefits from a stronger than usual cast for a film like this. That includes the three leads, especially Weber. The supporting cast includes Mary Christina Brown (The Man with the Iron Fists, Karen) as a Sheriff who believes there’s something to Hunter’s story. Of the film’s two big names, Michael Madsen (Burial Ground Massacre, Shark Season) has a couple of scenes as a friend of Hunter’s. Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind) has a bit more screen time as Murphy, Hunter’s former CO who is sent to help bring him in. He also gets what is probably the best scene in the film.
Every Last One of Them unfortunately doesn’t live up to the promise of its plot description. But it’s still an acceptable thriller with some good performances and action in service of a darker than normal storyline. Every Last One of Them is in limited theatrical release from Saban Films and available On Digital and On Demand from Paramount Home Entertainment.