* Actual dialogue from book
Joe and Anthony Russo are directors, writers and producers known for their work on the television shows Arrested Development, Community and Happy Endings. They also directed the excellent Marvel movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I figured I couldn’t go wrong with this gritty graphic novel. Sigh.
The artwork by Fernando Leon Gonzalez refined and dirty at the same time, using a good mix of wide angle movie type shots and close up, fine line work. For such a violent and bloody story, the black and white format actually adds to the drama. The story itself plays out like an action movie (natch), but a pretty hackneyed one at that. Mercenary goes to save imprisoned warlords kidnapped daughter, kills about a gazzillion guys, is betrayed by some allies, falls for kidnapped daughter, goes way beyond the mission to save her and nearly dies. He even leaves the girl a letter to be read as a voiceover during the epilogue, thanking her for making him “feel” again. Yeah yeah yeah. Didn’t Stallone/The Rock/Statham already do that movie?
I did enjoy seeing how a comic book artist would portray some of those long and complicated fight scenes that the Russo brothers are known for. That’s why a page or two could go by with just the aforementioned “Urrh! Arrhh! Uhnn-grrguuh…….”[BLAMM] could actually be compelling.