When it comes to trying to be the good guy, all it takes is to stop trying to be the bad one. Standoff (2016), directed by Adam Alleca, shows two men who struggle with being either of these, and just how fine of a line they’re willing to walk.
On the anniversary of her parent’s death, Bird (Ella Ballentine) visits their grave with her aunt’s boyfriend. She wanders into the cemetery alone with her parents camera hung around her neck, and stands above their grave.
In another part of the cemetery, a small burial is happening with only three people in attendance. A few suppressed shots kills each one of them, and the camera reveals a sniper (Laurence Fishburne as Sade) walking out of the woods.
Bird sits behind a bush after seeing each person fall down, and she sees the man with a sniper. He walks over to the dugout grave, laying the dead bodies inside atop the other and taking on the role of a caretaker by removing his ski mask and putting on a hat.
Bird’s uncle comes into the cemetery asking where she is, and Sade responds with a shovel in hand by telling him he doesn’t know. She stands up and tells her uncle to run away, but Sade pulls out a pistol and headshots him.
Bird takes a picture, and runs away from Sade through the forest and into a field of an old farmhouse.
Carter Green (played by Thomas Jane) is a troubled alcoholic veteran who lives alone in the house. He hears Bird screaming, and goes onto his front porch to find her running towards his house.
She makes it to the steps and is panting, trying to tell him she needs help. He tells her its okay and that he’ll help her, and a missed shot hits the top of his front door.
Sade emerges from the woods. He has put his ski mask back on to cover his face and once again has his sniper in hand. Carter tells bird to get inside, and Sade lands a lethal blow to Carter’s ankle. He crawls back into the house and kicks the door shut.
From here, the two retreat upstairs until Sade comes inside. Carter blasts a shell of birdshot into Sade’s gut, forcing him to stay downstairs. This is where the standoff is for the rest of the film until toward the end when everything busts open.
The plot might sound simplistically cheesy to start, but the film shines in the character showdown we get between Carter and Sade.
Both men have equally dark pasts that have brought them to this halt in their life. As the movie progresses and night draws near, the audience is fed the many tribulations each man suffers. Secrets are revealed to each other that neither would share with even those they hold closest.
The dialogue exchanged between the two has profound grit and darkness to it. With tense actions sequences and relatable characters, this under the radar film found on Netflix is one that might prove to be worth your time.