Every Last One of Them is a fairly provoking title for an action movie, and when you read the plot synopsis and see Richard Dreyfuss’ name on the poster, you could be forgiven for thinking that the actor formerly known as Matt Hooper from Jaws has decided to enter the realm of the older, past-their-prime star struggling to make it in straight-to-DVD action/revenge fodder à la Liam Neeson.
Thankfully, this is not the case, as while Dreyfuss is prominent in Every Last One of Them, he is not the main character. However, the film does play on the same themes as the majority of the fathers-out-for-vengeance genre, which has become a godsend for elderly actors looking for a fast buck. To be fair, Dreyfuss and Michael Madsen – the other notable name in the main cast – are the faces that draw you in, but Paul Sloan is the one who does the bulk of the work.
Sloan plays Hunter, an outsider in a little hamlet that appears to be ruled by the ruthless Nichols (Jake Weber), the leader of a top-secret security firm. After an altercation at one of Nichols’ bars against his son, Hunter becomes the target of Nichols’ rage. We learn why Hunter is in town and why Nichols shouldn’t underestimate him as Hunter lives up to his name and tries to take out everyone who has offended him.
And what role does Richard Dreyfuss play in this? He appears as Hunter’s former CO Murphy – because when you think of commanding officers in the special forces, Richard Dreyfuss is almost certainly the first name that comes to mind – and is tasked with the unenviable task of trying to talk his former soldier down and avoid slaughtering everyone – we’ve all seen this before, right? May this action can be watching movie online? Lets waiting for it.
Yes, and to add some narrative flesh to the bone, there’s a hazy sub-story about a multi-billion dollar water transaction that appears to be going sour that’s woven in to raise the stakes, but nobody cares, least of all Hunter, who simply wants vengeance for his lost daughter. Oh, and Michael Madsen appears in a flashback scene as Hunter’s friend who gives his drug-addicted daughter Melissa some sound advice, and for all the good he does, he might as well not have appeared at all because his presence adds nothing to the proceedings and Melissa goes down a dangerous path anyway.
But we came for the bloodshed, and that’s exactly what we got. According to reports, it took four writers to come up with a story about a vengeful father shooting people (and don’t forget about the water deal), which is at least three more people than it took to color grade the film. One more notch down the color spectrum and Every Last One of Them would be black and white. Everyone else is either chewing the scenery (Taryn Manning as Nichols’ sister Maggie) or showing up, reading their lines, and waiting for the banks to open so they can get that pay check in (Dreyfuss). But, let’s face it, who comes to see this for the acting?
When it boils down to it, Every Last One of Them is a low(er) budget knock-off of Rambo: Last Blood that, depending on your tolerance for such things, you should either avoid or endure – literally – because, despite its fundamental concept, the action never goes beyond merely being sufficient. That may be enough for some, as it is only 80 minutes long and provides a quick fix of gun-toting one-man-army revenge. However, with four writers, two star names among a fairly strong cast, and some, at best, well-staged action set pieces, it should have been much more, with not even the killer final scene preventing the whole experience from being a little underwhelming.