Groundhog day movies have a tried-and-tested formula: an everyday person becomes stuck in a time loop, reliving the same day repeatedly until they find a way to break the cycle. This is precisely what happens to former special forces operative Roy Pulvar (Frank Grillo) in Boss Level, when he’s forced to relive the day a team of assassins are sent to kill him. However, the Amazon film puts a fresh spin on the concept by asking what would happen if said hero has been stuck in this cycle for a much longer period (140 days by the time viewers meet him).
The answer is someone who’s become so despondent about their situation that they’re able to effortlessly dispatch a machete-wilding hitman while making their morning coffee, before gazing at a picture of their recently murdered ex-partner (Naomi Watts) as a helicopter destroys their apartment. Roy has the timing of each possible death so well calculated that he’s simply going through the motions at this point. Grillo’s commitment to the role and charisma make watching each of the creatively gruesome deaths an absolute blast.
The plot soon shifts into the next gear when Roy finds a way to get his revenge on the one responsible for his suffering (an eccentric commander played by Mel Gibson) and finally live to see another day. From here the action continues to escalate, each set piece bigger and crazier than the last. And whenever there’s a break from the excitement, there’s a surprising amount of emotion baked into the script, reinforced by solid performances across the board to ensure that viewers are thoroughly invested in Roy’s plight and genuinely want to see him succeed.
Boss Level gets a lot right with its action-packed premise. Where it stumbles hard, however, is with its ending. Without delving into any spoilers, the conclusion to Roy’s journey is abrupt and frustratingly anti-climactic. After accompanying him on this high-octane journey, there should be an extra scene that offers some narrative closure.
Aside from it’s eyeroll-inducing conclusion, Boss Level is a wickedly fun and outrageously entertaining action romp that’s arguably a lot better than its premise leads viewers to believe.
Boss Level is released on Amazon Prime Video on 13th August 2021.
Watch the trailer for Boss Level here: