As the saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," and Saban Films' Redemption Day proves the cliché still works when it comes to war action films. Gary Dourdan stars as Brad Paxton, a war hero who's seen more than his fair share of combat and suffers from its residual effects in the form of PTSD. Not long after his wife's (Serinda Swan) breakthrough invaluable archeological discovery, she's kidnapped by terrorists led by Jaafar El Hadi (Samy Naceri).
As consistent with the current geopolitical landscape, the terrorists in question operate in deep cover and are entrenched within the countryside. Brad, who's working with the Moroccan embassy, gets a blessing to pursue his own rescue mission to try to save his wife along with any surrounding hostages. With the help of Younes Laalej (Brice Bexter), the two recreate every expected action cliché you'd find in a war setting, taking out their enemies with brutal efficiency.
Directed by Hicham Hajji and co-written by Sam Chouia and Lemore Syvan, all based out of Morocco, the film fulfills the predictable checklist from the plot right down to the happy ending and Rambo heroics. Dourdan and Bexter don't have much as far as one-liners as much as do what is asked of them in their paramilitary training. Swan, Ernie Hudson, and Martin Donovan appear to do the minimum as far as support roles go. Even a veteran like Andy Garcia hardly adds anything to the film as the "executive" in charge. It's not really any of their faults with the bland writing. They can only do so much with the material.
It felt like times; someone just watched an episode of 24, they got their Jack Bauer and decided to recreate the build-up and tension the best they could. It just comes off as predictable and flat. Dourdan demonstrates he can lead his own action series, if anything, and it works for what the character is. They could have done more to address Brad's PTSD, which I feel was a lost opportunity. Redemption Day is currently in theatres, digital and on-demand.