Screener Review: THE NIGHTCREW (2015)


REVIEW:

Director Christian Sesma is a filmmaker with a huge vision for action whilst working as optimally as possible with smaller budgets. Tonally, there's a level of intensity that normally comes with a Sesma film, particularly when left unhindered, and much to our delight, we get to see a product fully into itself with his most recent action horror, The Nightcrew.

Luke Goss leads the film as Wade, the leader of a team of hard-up bounty hunters who swoop in and recover Mei, a mysterious Chinese woman just as she's about to be kidnapped. Little do they know, she turns out to be more than she appears as the team gets cornered in the middle of the midwestern desert at night by an army of hitmen at the behest of Mexican crimeboss, Aguilar, who has plans of his own for Mei.

The film was written by Sesma and co-star and associate producer Paul Sloan who both work greatly well together on their projects. For this, it's these two we have to thank with regard to the immersive character developement that takes place. From start to finish, the chemistry and comradery are as plain as day between the laughs and romantic backstories, as well as the subsequent hardships and tragedies that follow, whether they have to do with the mission or the internal drama that occurs.

Accompanying this factor, aside from a brief revolving-door appearance by actor Jason Mewes, is some of the best performances I've seen as of late, in addition to some truly colorful moments, including scenes between actresses Chasty Ballesteros and Luciana Faulhaber; Ballesteros is the central figure of the entire film in a role that certainly bares fruitfully more than expected, and in several ways, with plenty of room for actor Danny Trejo to leave his usual seasoned impression as the main villain.

The film certainly relies on all of the necessary tropes of an R-rated actioner, with plenty of skin and sexuality, with loads of violent and gritty action to boot. Ballesteros is as tough on screen as she is titillating and beautiful while Goss proves himself once more as a leading man of action in addition to the rest of the cast who each get a moment to shine.

Bearing all these in mind, it's quite an admirable feat Sesma takes on here as well with a specific twist on a certain mythological and supernatural themes; In plenty of cases, there are filmmakers who try and do too much while falling short, where as other filmmakers keep things simple and straightforward. Sesma's case here is pretty different in providing just the right blend needed to get his story across without trying to overcompensate, and what we're left with is substantive action movie with blistering drama, poignance and gore we can all sink our teeth into.

Essentially, The Nightcrew is what happens when a filmmaker can stretch his muscles a wee bit. Sesma is a director who speaks the language well when it comes to entertaining moviegoers, and now all he needs are bigger budgets. I say oblige him.

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