Cathedrals will fall, the river will run red... and THE BIRD will be SLAUGHTERED!

REVIEW: Armstrong

– By MovieCritic NextDoor

Being an EMT is a rough job anywhere, but it probably doesn’t get much rougher than being a night shift EMT in Los Angeles. It’s probably not much fun in Detroit, either. Since Lauren (Vicky Jeudy) is also a brand-new EMT, it’s no surprise that she’s in a panic just before she starts her very first shift. To make matters worse, her partner Eddie (Jason Antoon) feels obligated to harass the rookie at every opportunity, including making her listen to a conspiracy theorist with a late-night radio show (Kevin Pollak) — think Art Bell. Then something not very far away from their ambulance explodes, and they’re off and running.

Before they even reach the scene, though, they have a near-collision with a man (Shawn Parsons) in an alley, who declaims for a few moments about something having to be stopped and then collapses. Even half-conscious everything he says sounds like a dramatic speech. The paramedics find dog tags identifying their patient as David Armstrong, another veteran struggling to find a place in the world. They also discover that his right arm is apparently some sort of odd prosthetic — an insanely strong prosthetic, as Eddie is promptly accidentally injured by it while trying to help.

Without quite knowing how it happened, the EMTs soon find themselves driving wildly through the deserted streets, half Armstrong’s hostages and half his partners in crime. He insists that the city, even the entire planet, is in grave danger from a group called the Fifth Sun and their soldiers, the Harbingers, who are working to bring about the end of the world. Certainly these Harbingers have some impressive high-tech weaponry — just like Armstrong’s, in fact — and are absolutely maniacal in their schemes, so despite thinking he’s crazy Lauren and Eddie are forced to admit Armstrong may have a point.

Jeudy gives a compelling performance as the often-overwhelmed Lauren, who’s struggling to overcome a past of loss and drug addiction and trying to use her new job as a way to atone for her mistakes. By contrast, Eddie is darkly wry and cynical, a ten-year veteran of the worst L.A. can throw at him, but in many ways he’s exactly the mentor Lauren needs. Armstrong’s rantings show even the jaded Eddie that there’s more scary stuff out there than he imagined, though despite the tech and the wild beliefs of the cult, it’s actually a very convincing depiction of how super-gadgets would effect our world.

It’s also a great romp of an action hero movie, with decent effects and suspenseful chases. There is sometimes a bit too much of a relaxed atmosphere when there should be a lot more tension and racing against the clock, but I forgive them because they at least made good use of that time to develop the characters. It’s dark and realistic without being depressing — in the words of the mystery radio host, the movie believes in the forces of good just as much as the forces of evil, and in the end all you need is a little bit of hope.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Slaughtered Bird Films’ BURN receives its first reviews!
Burn Slaughtered Bird Films and Dragon Egg Media’s debut film collaboration, Burn, has received its first couple of online reviews, after a preview screening at the Triple Six Horror Festival in Manchester, May 27th. Read on...
INTERVIEW: David Naughton
untitled It’s not every day you get to speak to the lead actor in possibly your favourite horror film of all time. Especially on a Tuesday. Tuesdays are usually rubbish! David Naughton should need no introduction to horror fans. Back in 1981, An American Werewolf In London had unprepared cinema goers laughing heartily one second and jumping out of their seats in terror the next. Its tale of two young American tourists coming face-to-teeth with a legendary lycanthropic beast perfectly married a genuinely funny script with razor sharp editing, groundbreaking special effects and a flawless cast to create a monster movie that is still many people’s benchmark today Read on...
Advertise HERE!
CQJR7SyWwAADBd_ We currently have advertising space available at very reasonable rates, so if you have a product you want to let people know about then please email us at theslaughteredbird@gmail.com with your needs and we can give you more info. Read on...