The Doorman, despite star names like Ruby Rose and Jean Reno, fails to do more than limp its way through scene after excruciating scene. It didn’t even reach Michael Bay levels of action thanks to some faulty decisions with editing and jump cuts. The dialogue is atrocious, the constant reminder of the name of the film, “She’s just a doorman” could, however, inspire a drinking game.
I really wish I exaggerated the similarities to Die Hard, but this takes place on Easter and in Die Hard it was Christmas. Both protagonists are considered initially harmless, John McClain being considered a simple party guest crasher or security guard, and Ali is “just a doorman” as you will hear tirelessly, in case you forget, throughout the film. Sets of villains in both films are breaking into a safe. Both protagonists have family in the building under siege and they have to make sure the villains don’t find out. This doesn’t feel like a parody, but a bad, straight to VHS ripoff (in this generation it would be straight to VOD).
Not sure if Ruby Rose is talented because I’ve yet to see a film that fully gives her the opportunity to be. Still, she couldn’t possibly save this film and, while her acting isn’t bad, whoever wrote this script does her no favors. Weirdly, it seems everyone around her got the worse of the dialogue. Having a villain go “I can smell you” is not the “wow” moment they expect.
The dialogue will leave you scratching your head more than anything. One of the villains, Pee Wee, of the aforementioned olfactory comment, later before a fight asks Ruby Rose’s Ali, if she’s a Virgo because he dated one and they always “had to choose the movies” and you’re stuck really wondering if there was a point you missed. There isn’t. It’s reminiscent of padding your essay for school to reach the required word count; that’s what the dialogue feels like. Or the writers don’t fully understand human interaction and motivation. There is awful dialogue in films where everyone is self-aware enough to know and ham it up, but there is clearly no such awareness here.
Direction and Fight Sequences Are Subpar
Direction is, for the most part unimpressive at times, and nonsensical at others, as the film tries to be deeper with rotating shots that move in and out of closeups, but quite simply have no place or point in the film beyond dizzying the audience. Visually some scenes look good, but beyond that it’s pointless. Other scenes seem to drift in and out of focus; not sure if it was intentional or not, but it adds to the mess that is this film. I’m actually a fan of the director’s, Ryûhei Kitamura, earlier films; particularly, Versus and Azumi—highly recommended—so I’m not sure what went wrong here.
Now, the action sequences are the most entertaining part of the film and even those are mildly entertaining at best. There is too much editing to fully picture the fighting and, heaven help us, there is even a rotating shot with edits. Why?! The editing is so bad that you don’t even see hits connect at times, just a dramatic sound of impact and some villain’s head jerks implying they were kicked. The only decent action sequence was the initial gunfight early on in the film and even that was just Ruby Rose, for the most part, pointing a gun authoritatively.
Nothing about this film works, it’s just a convoluted mess that doesn’t even entertain. Would strongly recommend you pass on this film.
*Top photo Courtesy of NIGHTSTREAM