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Review: Never Let Go – “High energy and high intensity”

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Available now as a digital download, and out on DVD on the 10th of October, Never Let Go is an action thriller starring Angela Dixon (Offensive) and written and directed by Howard J. Ford (The Dead, The Dead 2: India).

Lisa Brennan (Dixon) is a U.S. Homeland Security operative on vacation in Morocco with her new baby. While at the beach one day she has her daughter snatched by a criminal gang. Gloriously, she immediately gives chase in a bruising breakneck foot pursuit that sees her smashing through anyone that gets in her way: kicking bad guys in the face, stabbing them with wooden statues from the market, and throwing them into incoming traffic.

Dixon’s Brennan is a highly focussed and trained fighter and thinker, and this Moroccan child kidnapping ring just messed with the wrong momma. They just manage to escape, and Lisa is surrounded by unsympathetic cops. When pleading with them for help doesn’t work, she beats the stuffing out of them, leaps off a roof, and begins her own hunt: off the grid and off the books.

At under twenty minutes in and having already packed in a Taken-and-a-half’s worth of action, worry sets in that Never Let Go may have peaked too early. However there is still a ton of tigress in the tank, and by having Lisa instantly react so fiercely, what Ford has done is smart: the audience is already in hers and his pocket, and eager for more.

Lisa’s backstory and connections are slowly revealed, and she also builds an underground support network of women who believe and aid her – adding a fantastic feminist undercurrent. We also learn more of the film’s truly ruthless bad guy, Vladislav, played by Velibor Topic from Kingsman: The Secret Service. Happy to despatch any henchperson or stolen tot that may ruin his set up, he’s cruel and intimidating and more than a match for Lisa when the two finally smash together in the finale.

Howard Ford’s direction is high energy and high intensity. His camera is as fearless as his lead, barreling down twisty streets and scaling buildings to capture Lisa’s constant stunts, skills and scraps. But, when emotions of loss and sadness peck at Brennan during rare breathers of downtime, he is not afraid to linger too, and with such a strong performance from Dixon that confidence is easily understandable.

Angela Dixon running around elbowing everyone in Morocco in the face is huge fun, and Lisa Brennan is a heroine you won’t just root for – but cheer for. Beneath the thrilling heroics beats a lot of heart too, and fingers crossed Dixon and Howard can reunite to inflict Lisa Brennan on more baddies a.s.a.p.

4-out-of-5

Never Let Go is released on DVD in the UK on the 10th of October. It is on VOD from 3rd October 2016.

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