By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
In the gripping, action drama, “Assault on VA-33”
from director Christopher Ray (TV’s “FraXtur”), Sean Patrick Flanery
(“American Fighter”) plays a decorated army veteran named Jason Hill who thinks he and his daughter Sarah (Sarah Elizabeth Jensen, TV’s “Homicide City”) are going to have just another routine day together.
It should have been, but instead, Jason gets caught up in a hostage situation at the local Veterans Administration hospital in Buffalo, NY where his wife Jennifer (Gina Holden, TV’s “Kidnapped to the Island”) works as a PTSD therapist.
It’s a big day at the facility for Jennifer because she’s been asked to consult with General Welch (Gerald Webb, TV’s “The Shadow Diaries”), head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Oddly, there’s a lot of movement going on in the place too and some unfamiliar faces that Jason hasn’t seen before like the shady elevator equipment workers and jittery security guards.
Jason has reason to be concerned. Turns out this rag tag crew actually works for Russian terrorist, Adrian Rabikov (Weston Cage Coppola, son of Nicolas Cage). He’s after the general. They plan to take hostages as leverage for the release of Adrian’s brother who is being held by the US.
When Jason manages to step away and alert the police about the suspicious activity, he’s not taken seriously at all by Officer Charlie (TV’s “A Royal Christmas Engagement”) or police Chief Malone (Michael Jai White, TV’s “Arrow”).
Once Adrian gives the order, they storm the place and Jason is caught right in the thick of things and forced to rely on his set of special skills, bum knee, and all to get the staff out alive.
By then, Chief Malone (White) realizes Jason wasn’t a prank caller and attempts to spring into action albeit with far less swagger than “Black Dynamite” would.
“Assault on VA-33” could have upped the action, although the fight scene with Flanery and bad guy Mark Dacascos, (TV’s “Hawaii Five-O”) is a beauty. Still, you have to wonder why Michael Jai White didn’t get a piece of that action? He is an action star.
Flanery is the one who gets to wear the hero’s badge for taking down the baddies. Personally, I like these low-budget, gritty movies. While “Assault on VA-33” borrows from “Die-Hard” and John Carpenter’s “Assault on Precinct 13,” it’s still an exciting film that gets the job done and doesn’t overstay its welcome.
“Assault on VA-33” opens in select theaters on April 2 and On Demand and Digital April 6.
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Watch This Trailer For "ASSAULT ON VA-33"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.