‘Battle Scars’: Film Review

A PTSD-afflicted fight maestro gets concerned with underworld total in Danny Buday’s thriller.

Writer-director Danny Buday tries to have it both ways with his new thriller about a PTSD-afflicted fight maestro who becomes caught with underworld figures. And like many who try to change amicable play with crime melodrama, a filmmaker doesn’t succeed. Featuring that many old of settings, a frame club, Battle Scars is conjunction supportive nor retaining adequate to be taken seriously.

The executive character, Luke (Zane Holtz), has recently returned from a debate of avocation in Afghanistan in that he suffered a harmful damage from an IED. Suffering a stretched attribute with his mother (Amy Davidson) who can’t take his uncommunicativeness, Luke takes condolence one dusk during a frame bar where he behaves intensely angrily toward voluptuous waitress Michelle (Heather McComb, Ray Donovan) after she rebuffs his advances.

Michelle takes punish by purloining Luke’s credit label info and shopping some costly gifts for herself. When Luke gets breeze of a charges, he storms behind to a bar and confronts a owner, Rifka (Fairuza Balk), who quietly responds to his threats by carrying her bouncer (Jamal Woolard, Notorious) kick him to a pulp. Privy to a onslaught is Summer (Kristen Renton), a stripper who happens to be a partner of Luke’s drug-dealing hermit Nicky (Ryan Eggold, The Blacklist). The indirect complications embody Luke and Michelle banding together and even distinguished regretful sparks even as a several characters, including Luke’s domineering, macho father (David James Elliott, JAG), breeze adult concerned in a fatal aroused encounter.

Beginning and finale with onscreen graphics providing contribution and statistics about veterans and PTSD, Battle Scars strains for a earnest that it usually fitfully achieves. Its many constrained stage has zero to do with a pale storyline, though rather involves a still impulse in that Luke attends to himself in a lavatory and we finally learn, roughly median into a film, a accurate inlet of his injury. Also clever are a moments involving a father, a former Marine, who considers his son diseased and even ridicules his Purple Heart.  

To get to those, unfortunately, viewers have to put adult with a lot of cliches, including a Eastern European frame club-owning villainess who, most like her masculine counterparts in identical cinema and radio shows, hits on her employees. And nonetheless Balk tries intensely tough to be ominous in her portrayal, she doesn’t lift it off.

Holtz superbly underplays as a emotionally tortured fight vet, never succumbing to histrionics, and McComb brings engaging complexity to what could have been a cliched character. But their excellent efforts are not adequate to recompense for a film’s unmerited vanity designed to recompense for a informed thriller tropes.   

Production: Virtu Entertainment, Ad Lucem Entertainment
Distributor: Gravitas Ventures
Cast: Zane Holtz, Heather McComb, Fairuza Balk, David James Elliott, Ryan Eggold, Jamal Woolard, Kristen Renton, Amy Davidson
Director-screenwriter: Danny Buday
Producers: Danny Buday, Heather McComb, George Young Warner, Lane Carlson
Executive producer: George Young Warner
Director of photography: Jason Oldak
Production designer: Chris Scharffenberg
Editor: Waldemar Centeno
Costume designer: Lindsay Zir
Composer: Teho Teardo
Casting: Miriam Hoffman

94 minutes

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