This action thriller follows the Lindel brothers Mikey (Johnathon Schaech), who fell into the life of petty crime as a small-time mobster, and JP (Adrian Grenier) who found success and a straight-laced life as the owner of a construction company. When Mikey is kidnapped and held for a ransom by ruthless crime boss Eddie King (Nicolas Cage) following a cocaine deal gone awry, JP turns to the brothers’ old friend Sal (John Cusack), a plain clothes detective for help. This is the debut screenplay for writer Jason Mosberg, which by the looks of the trailer, would have been more suited to a television series than a feature film.
This marks the second time working together for Schaech and Grenier, who previously appeared in Marauders together for director Steven C. Miller. Cage – sporting a fake big nose, bowl cut and wardrobe of 70’s suits – employs his usual overzealous tough-guy acting with huffing, puffing and the occasional unnecessary screaming at the top of his lungs and Grenier looks to be giving little more than his usual television style performance, but Cusack consistently envelops his character, elevating the standards of everyone around him. The cast also includes Lydia Hull and Heather Johansen. Arsenal is the next in a string of B-grade action movies for director Steven C. Miller, whose 2015 thriller Extraction starring Bruce Willis went straight to DVD in the UK and 2016 straight to DVD thriller Submerged starring Jonathan Bennett failed to make returns past the budget. Miller must be doing something right though, as with another project currently in post-production – First Kill starring Hayden Christensen and Bruce Willis and due for release late this year, he has no problems getting the green light from studio Lionsgate. Though the rapid pace of two films a year seems to represent television production speed, rather than cinema, and it does reflect in the finished product.
Rated R for brutal bloody violence, language and drug use, Arsenal is set for theatrical release tomorrow in the US and the 24th of February in the UK. You can watch the trailer below.
John Cusack and Adrian Grenier in Arsenal