Force of Nature is an action film directed by Michael Polish from a screenplay by Cory Miller, starring Emile Hirsch, Kate Bosworth, Mel Gibson, William Catlett, and Stephanie Cayo.
It follows Cardillo (Hirsch), a cop in Puerto Rico who sets out with his new partner, Jess (Cayo), to rescue stubborn residents of a complex when they refuse to leave. Cardillo and Jess are led there by Griffin (Catlett) who was arrested by them earlier for trying to hoard meat. As you might expect from the title, there is also a massive Hurricane brewing.
Griffin explains that he needs the huge portions to feed his pet and people in the complex. The two cops take him to his apartment building, just as John the Baptist (David Zayas) arrives with his gang, looking for stolen paintings from WWII by Nazis. All the while Troy (Kate Bosworth) and Cardillo start having feelings for each other.
This movie is as bad as it sounds. There are movies out there that are so bad that they are good. Force of Nature is not one of those – it’s tedious and absurd, made worse by the terrible editing and sloppy script. The movie starts off promising with a tragic scene and enjoyable cinematography, however, that quickly falls apart and becomes almost unbearable to sit through.
There are scenes where it’s clear the editors have butchered it, others where vital moments have been cut making the viewer feel like they must have missed something. The editors thought there was no need for us to find out how two characters ended up dangling from the side of a building. The sound mix is also terribly handled. We hear the hurricane and shoot out throughout the movie, except when Troy and Cardillo are having their special moment.
The only good thing about Force of Nature is Griffin’s pet, which happens to be a panther locked away in a closet. Yes, in the closet. Sadly, we only get to see it for a second when it escapes to save the day among the lackluster action.
Polish and Miller rely too much on the action to draw people in, what they missed out on is building suspense and character. Aside from Cardillo’s brief backstory, the characters are two dimensional and irksome at best. There is no reason for viewers to become invested in the outcome.
Even Gibson is forgettable in his role as a grumpy, stubborn, oxycontin loving retired cop. He has trouble moving around, that is until the shooting and fighting begins. Suddenly, he is just as capable as Jess and Cardillo at fighting a whole gang during a hurricane. Judging from the poster for Force of Nature, you’ll likely think he is one of the lead characters, however, that’s not the case. His involvement is brief and once he is gone, you forget he was there.
The running time is only 91 minutes but it feels like it will never end while watching it. Catch this if you like to torture yourself or waste money. 2.5/10
Force of Nature is in cinemas now.