Focused around the story of a father (Gibson) finding the murderer of his daughter Emma (Bonaja Novakovic) who gets shot and killed right on their doorstep, this film really holds some potential likability factors. For one, the emotion packed into this feature is incredibly high; partly because of the acting and partly due to the sensitive topic of losing a loved one. This film also makes action scenes proper action rather than glamorising the fights. It has close up shots and slow motion on shootings, as well as nice juicy scenes of blood and guts, making it that all the more gory and horrible.
But you really do become puzzled in the storyline. It seems Ray Winstone's character Jedburgh is just there for a bit of a gritty British influence, and to add to the minor gangster type theme running through. His story doesn't seem to push the narrative in any particular direction. And as for the whole reason behind the shooting, that becomes lost in a very political debate which in itself doesn't make sense. Once the film finishes, you're wondering why you saw certain people with each other, why people become targets and what happened to characters that seemed important at first.
One thing that did amaze me was how much it made you jump with certain actions. The shooting of his daughter is literally one of the most shocking things I've seen. It matched up to the shooting of the boy in Funny Games. I won't ruin the other scenes, but lets just say characters get killed at times you don't expect. But saying that, there's always a feeling of awareness. You sort of know (if you've seen enough thriller type action movies) when something bad's about to happen, which makes the story as a whole a little more pointless.
Overall though, the acting's good and the themes behind it run well. But it just seems like another name dropping, action movie produced for the big screen. Martin Campbell directed this feature so you would expect it to be like that considering he also worked on Casino Royale and The Legend of Zorro. If you liked those films, you'll love this.