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The Collective (2023) Review

“We sleep soundly in our beds, because rough men stand ready in the night to do violence on those who would harm us”.

George Orwell

In The Collective, the new film by director Tom DeNucci (Army of the Damned, Johnny & Clyde) and writers Jason James and Matthew Rogers (Code Name Banshee, The Survivalist) those men and women belong to the titular agency, a group of ethical assassins under the direction of Liam (Don Johnson, Cold in July, High Heat). Their mission is to take down those who are above the reach of justice.

A man, we’ll find out shortly that his name is Sam (Lucas Till, X-Men: Apocalypse, The Disappointments Room), lets himself into a house through a window and begins gunning down masked guards until he reaches his target whom he promptly shoots in the head and snaps a photo as proof of his success. Turns out he was firing paintballs, it was a test to see if he had what it takes to join The Collective. Having proven his skills, he’s promptly given a desk job helping to decide what contracts the agency should accept, something he’s not happy about.

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Of course, he’s not going to stay there for long, and he’s soon on the case of Miro Lindell (Paul Ben-Victor, The Amityville Murders, The Wire) a human trafficker whose wealth and connections, not to mention his enforcers Daisy (Ruby Rose, SAS: Red Notice, The Doorman) and Nikita, played by Mercedes Varnado who has been in several episodes of The Mandalorian but is still better known under her pro wrestling monikers Sasha Banks and Mercedes Monè, render untouchable.

There’s a scene in the first act where we see Hugo (Tyrese Gibson, Come Out Fighting, Dangerous), another of The Collective’s assassins on a mission while Sam explains to Liam how he would carry it out in a totally different manner. It not only delivers a bit of action, it gives us a look into Sam’s mind and how the character thinks. It’s probably no surprise when I say the two of them end up working together as well.

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Unfortunately, that’s about the only time The Collective really breaks out of the mould. The plot hits plenty of the usual notes for a film like this. Hero is recruited and gets some on-the-job training from a veteran agent. Then the mission goes sideways, and he has to trust his own instincts and disobey orders in order to bring down the villains. Standard fare for a DTV thriller.

The difference here though is that The Collective mostly gets the formula right There are enough action scenes to keep the film from dragging, and they are for the most part staged well apart from the one where bad guys keep pouring through a door even after it’s obvious Sam and Hugo are picking them off as they do.

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The filmmakers also avoid the common mistake of having a bland villain He’s a human trafficker so, of course, he’s going to be hateable, but they give him a few quirks like singing to a caged victim, to make sure he isn’t another generic bad guy and Paul Ben-Victor leans into it nicely. It’s actually Sam, with his lawyer turned assassin because he saw too many guilty people walk free backstory that seems a little bland by comparison. Indeed, a lack of backstories on all the good guys is something that should be corrected in any sequels.

The Collective is a solid thriller that doesn’t break any new ground, but does deliver the action that people tune into these films for. And, unlike another high-profile film on the topic, it doesn’t make any claims to being true, so you can enjoy it without controversy.

Quiver Distribution will release The Collective in theatres as well as to VOD and Digital Platforms on August 4th.

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3 thoughts on “The Collective (2023) Review”

  1. Johnson is a Golden Globe winning actor for his role in Miami Vice and I still remember the best moments growing up to watch his action-packed movies. Paul Ben-Victor in the other hand is best known for playing Greek mobster Spiros “Vondas” Vondopoulos on the HBO and he is also a legend. Whereby Tyrese Gibson, I come to know him when he first played Pearce alongside his best friend, the late Paul Walker, in 2003’s 2 Fast 2 Furious and since then, he become one of my new age favourite actor includes his stint in the 2004 movie Flight of the Phoenix as A.J. and finally Lucas Till, this is one young actor with vast potential in which he’s well known as the reprisal character of Macgyver (Who can make something out of nothing) and that fun 2016 movie Monter Truck. Somehow in this The Collective 2023 movie, I believe their potentials are reduced to nothing with such an imbalanced plot, unconvincing characters follows by all other technical elements such as the cinematography, directorial choices, music and sound. I hate to give bad review but this one I have to make an exception considering the actual potential these actors possessed and if only a good director take over to direct this movie it’s gonna be another good intense and action-packed movie everyone would enjoy and remember. Anyway, try it for the weekend with some pop-corn and your partner and see if it’s okay for you.

  2. Drop the politics. I’m just sayin…. I came here for a book review which was good and made me want to watch the movie aware I shouldn’t expect a masterpiece. Now I’m leaving a comment because of the whole ‘claim to be true’ you had to throw in there. Don’t be THAT beer.

    1. I was just saying you could watch this and not worry about getting reamed regardless if you liked it or not.

      If I was going to be political about it I would have made it very clear what I thought of it. Or simply reviewed it and capitalized on the controversy.

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