#REVIEW: “THE 2ND”
By Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
Sometimes we watch a movie and think to ourselves, “what ever happened to them?” and then they appear in movies like The 2nd. It is a “C” Action Film at best, with a lot of ridiculous action pieces, dialogue, and twists. The one positive thing it has going for it is a tight ninety-three minute running time packed with action that makes it short enough to be entertaining.
Shawn (Jack Griffo) and Erin (Lexi Simonsen) are the last ones at their boarding school (assuming that is what it is as it’s never fully discussed, but implied) as their waiting for their respective rides off campus to head home. Shawn is waiting for his dad, Vic Davis (Ryan Phillippe), a former Green Beret and Erin is waiting for the driver whom her dad, Justice Walton (Randy Charach) had sent for her. Erin and Shawn get a little more friendly than they’ve been before, as Vic and the new Driver (Casper Van Dien) show up. Erin forgets her laptop in her dorm, and goes back to retrieve it, but something feels off to Vic and he goes to get Erin. It turns out the Driver and his crew were hired to kidnap Erin to force her father’s hand on a Second Amendment vote. Things start to unravel as Shawn, Erin and Vic must now escape the campus without getting killed.
The 2nd‘s Script is sparse unfortunately and relies almost entirely on Director Brian Skiba‘s well-paced and entertaining action sequences. There are a few ‘twists’ that are forgettable, which never get fully explained or have consequences. And its ending just might elicit audible eyerolls. The Second and Third Acts do however, manage to keep the audience engaged.
Phillippe and Van Dien deliver the thrills and do the best with what they’ve been given. Phillippe plays a concerned father who will do anything to protect his son and Erin, while the latter is the hired gun who will do anything to get the job done. Griffo carries his weight when it comes to the hard-hitting action sequences, while Simonsen is over-sexualized as a damsel in distress, and capable of much more.
VVS Films release THE 2ND on digital and on-demand Tuesday, January 19, 2021.