The Courier is not a particularly good film – this needs to be said straight off. It ticks every box of every cliché you can think of. Double-crosses, corrupt officials, witnesses that need to be eliminated, secret pasts, people who aren’t what they appear, blahblahblah. There’s not a single new or original thought here. It is somewhat saved by decent action sequences but that’s about it.
In every other regard it is… forgettable. Average. Safe. Neither offensive nor worthy of praise. It wastes Gary Oldman, who is capable of so much better than this. He’s not as flat and lifeless as Al Pacino was in the truly wretched Hangman but he truly feels like he’s going through the motions. Olga Kurylenko is decent enough, as is Amit Shah, but none of the acting is going to be winning any Academy Awards.
READ MORE: 5 Christmas Horrors You Might Not Know
Oldman plays antagonist Ezekiel Mannings, a crime boss finally caught doing bad things and facing a trial he would much rather didn’t go ahead. Amit Shah plays Nick, the only witness against him, due to testify over video link to make sure that Ezekiel goes down for his crimes. Kurylenko plays our titular Courier, hired to deliver a package to the police who are guarding Nick but, shock horror, things don’t go as planned and soon the film descends into a cat and mouse game inside a bland concrete parking garage that definitely doesn’t do much to stand out as a memorable location.
There’s the additional pressure of a ticking clock… well, I say pressure, but it really doesn’t end up actually mattering in the grand scheme of things. There are some decent fight scenes that allow Olga Kurylenko to show off some pretty impressive athleticism but they’re nothing out of this world. They do the job, nothing more. There is also a bit of we’re-trying-to-be-flashy motorbike riding that ultimately ends up not mattering very much to the overall plot other than providing an excuse for the Courier to strut about in a leather jacket for most of the film.
READ MORE: The Party’s Just Beginning – Review
That’s really all there is to say about this film. There are so many better action films out there. You want a film about a crime boss? Go watch The Godfather or Scarface. In the mood for an action movie with lots of punching and kicking? Hardcore Henry‘s got you covered. So does Upgrade if you want something a bit more cerebral, or hell just watch The Matrix. Want some motorbike action? Go watch Akira. Even Biker Boyz is better for a chuckle or two.
There are literally hundreds of better films out there that are so much more deserving of your time. As for The Courier? It’s dead on arrival.
The Courier is released in cinemas and on digital on 20th December.