Hey gang, Valkor here. If I were to create a list of some of my favorite action heroes, Michael Jai White would definitely be on it; the dude has earned his place being in such films as “Tactical Force”, his stint on "Arrow" and even going as far as back as Spawn. So it’s unfortunate that he doesn’t have his own action franchise… at least until now. His first film in what looks to be a possible series, Falcon Rising, sets the stage for the newest action hero to make the scene. But can this new guy ultimately make the cut?
Falcon Rising centers on John Chapman aka Falcon, an ex-marine struggling with PTSD flashbacks and alcoholism. He gets a visit from his sister, who was on her way to Brazil to do some social work. And not long after she arrives, she's beaten within an inch of her life and left on the shores near a little town known as the favela near Rio de Janeiro. The favela is run by drug lords and the people are OK with that as they help bring in the money, which in turn helps the people. And they repay that favor by protecting the dealers. When Falcon receives word of what happened, he of course heads to Brazil straight away to a) take care of his sister and b) investigate what went down. He's got the help of a friend in the U.S. Consulate and old war buddy named Manny (Neal McDonough - The Marine 3) but he also gets assist from local officer Da’Silva (Millie Ruperto), who works the favela and tries her best to earn the people’s trust. And what they uncover – police corruption, a child prostitution ring and Yakuza involvement, lands them into a whole mess of trouble.
Of course they make it through the ordeal to fight the bad guys another day or this wouldn’t be the start of a new action franchise. The big question is – is it really worth watching? hell yea it is!
Falcon Rising is a great start for Jai White to finally star in his own series; personally I would have loved it to have been Spawn, even though the first film was garbage, however it did have potential. In Rising, the plot is ripped straight from the 80s with one man against all odds, fighting to save the ones he cares about. And as a child of the 80s, I can appreciate it. It’s a solid, straight-forward plot that might be a little too heavy on the drama but tells enough of a story to hold your interest. But you want – no you crave that action and Falcon Rising doesn’t let you down. If you’ve never seen a Jai White film, then you’re in for a real treat as he tears it up on screen, taking down an insane number of baddies, for the most part bare-handed. The camera hangs back just enough to capture those marvelous kicks, every glorious punch and anything in between. One of my favorite scenes involves Falcon versus the two corrupt cops; one attacks him with a giant plastic barrel that he proceeds to kick back at him and then lays the stomp on that ass. Hell that entire scene with shit getting tossed, a yakuza swordsman and blows being thrown, it’s like it was straight out of an arcade beat em up! The acting isn’t perfect, but it does enough to keep you interested and I think everyone performs well. Finally, the ending is the ideal jump-off point for future films, which I hope there will be. And as it stands, Falcon Rising is a great start for what could be an amazing action-packed future for us as fans and for Jai to get some just deserved shine.
The film could be more evenly balanced between the action and the drama; I know this is just like an origins story, with the possibility of more to come. And I’m looking forward to it. But I’d like to see a little more action.
Falcon Rising is available now through digital services such as Amazon and iTunes stores. As an action fan, this film brings a lot to the table in the form of an engaging story, loads of action that’s nicely edited and well choreographed and the perfect introduction for a memorable action hero. Out of TOV 5 stars, Falcon Rising gets a 4. And I wait in high anticipation of the next film in the Falcon series.