Michael Jai White deserves more. He has looks, acting ability, charisma, brute strength and breathtaking ability, both of which he puts to use in some of the most bone-crunchingly athletic and visceral fight sequences to be filmed in the last decade.
I keep waiting for the role that will elevate him in the ranks. Perhaps not to Star status, but at least a Statham sidekick or the villain in a big budget film.
No dice. Falcon Rising isn’t the film to do it either, but the titular John ‘Falcon’ Chapman is apparently a recurring character designed to headline a franchise. If this happens and MJ White isn’t at the helm, it will be nothing less than a crime.
A hardened combat vet, burned out by years of unappreciated service to his country, Falcon would rather end up a victim of a liquor store robbery than use his skills to stop it. But it seems that he can’t even manage to do that right…
When his social worker sister is beaten almost to death in Brazil, Falcon at last has an outlet for his pent up aggression. Sorry Brazil, but you done fucked up now.
In Brazil Falcon finds two types of cop, the by the book type and the off the books type. Neither seem to get the job done to his satisfaction, so he opts for Plan C: My way.
On the surface the character of John Chapman is one Michael Jai White has played for years, with only minor variations. While the production values are marginally superior here, the fight choreography is a mixed bag. There is light at the end of rainbow though. The character of Falcon seems to have a future, and as mentioned Michael Jai White damn sure has the tools to make him work. If one of the episodes can build a bridge between these things that don’t seem far apart, all that remains is finding an audience.
For now, Falcon Rising is competent action with a few definite highlights and an always watchable lead. Hopefully this is but the beginning.
Final Rating – 7 / 10. Come on Hollywood, put a bit more effort into this. We need a new action hero.