The Jakarta Post
Dominic Cooper as a British Special Boat Service commando in 'Stratton.' (GFM films/File)
Headed by Dominic Cooper, Stratton tells the story of a British Special Boat Service commando of the same name as he and his team track down an international terrorist. The film jumps straight into the middle of the action, with little explanation or exposition, a style continued throughout the rest of the film.
The script and its characterizations struggle throughout the entire film. The characters are barely fleshed out clichés and the lack of chemistry between the actors does no favors for the awkward dialogue.
The plot as a whole is never truly satisfying, with more questions being asked and plot points being brought up than answers and resolutions being given.
Despite the clunky script, both Gemma Chan (Aggy) and Tom Felton (Cummings) manage to navigate their way into the best performances of the film, and due to their chemistry, their single scene together manages to steal the show. Still, it does not help that the talented Felton has been drafted into yet another villain role, which continues to be a shame.
The chemistry between Chan and Felton is far from the only thing wasted. Certain characters, such as Derek Jacobi’s Ross and Tyler Hoechlin’s Marty, are present for so little of the film that having their names feature so prominently in the promotion for the film is almost laughable.
Their characters act as vehicles for Stratton’s story and pain, yet not even successfully so. Stratton is never shown to be particularly better or more powerful than any other agent, and is given very little backstory, resulting in a flimsy leading man. Cooper seems to do his best to work around the issues with the script, but never manages to give a convincing performance.
While action movies are not typically known for their intricate plots, Stratton is still unable to redeem itself in special effects. Visuals are weak and what should be a climactic, fantastical ending falls more than a little flat.
The film feels as if it is just going through the motions of an action film with a romance subplot that appears out of nowhere -- shoehorned in as if they figured they would make enough money to warrant a sequel that would include a relationship between Stratton and Aggy.
Sadly, Stratton doesn’t manage to stay afloat and ends up being a waste of a talented cast. (sul/kes)