Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

The truth of the matter is that ‘Sacrifice’ isn’t all that good of a movie being an unfortunate mix of drawn out family melodrama, benign tedium, some stiff acting all punctuated with some pretty decent action sequences but there was this one scene in this movie…man, it was something. This is probably a spoiler I guess, I don’t know, but Cuba Gooding Jr’s character of police officer John Hebron walks into this crowded club to talk to somebody to hopefully get some critical info. He flashes his badge and steps into the club. Fine. He walks around a bit looking for this person and then for no reason at all this dancer at one of the upper levels of this club shouts out some expletives, whips out a gun from heaven only knows where and starts shooting at this dude. I’m asking myself ‘Why is this woman shooting at this guy?’ She has no idea why he’s there, we haven’t seen this dancer before this point in the movie and here she is flat blasting in a crowded club at a police officer who, for all she knew, could’ve stopped in to get a drink. Then the bartender starts shooting at this police officer and soon everybody in this club is pretty much shooting at this guy. Good thing nobody knows how to shoot except the cop who’s Deadeye Dick like a sonofagun. That one scene was so sublimely awesomely stupid that if the rest of the movie were as deliciously stupid as that one scene I’d have no choice but to proclaim ‘Sacrifice’ as one of the best movies ever made. Unfortunately the majority of this movie was as serious as a heart attack, only not as exciting.

A few years ago John Hebron had a beautiful wife and a precocious little daughter. Then he went undercover, busted some mobsters and now he’s a miserable drunk as his family is dead and it’s all because of his bang-up undercover work. Get used to hearing his dead wife say over and over again ‘will this put us in danger’ and his daughter creaking out with ‘I love you daddy’.

Across town, this town being Toronto, we meet young drug dealing Mike (Devon Bostwick). Mike is sick of the game and wants out of the game. His boss Jade the sexy minx (Lara Daans)… I mean the woman’s name is Jade so she has no choice but to be a sexy minx… says he can’t leave the game, and if he tries to leave the game something bad might happen to his baby sister Angel (Arcadia Kendal). So pleased with Mike’s drug dealing performance, Jade has upped Mike’s duties considering her boss’s son Rook (Zion Lee), who is supposed to be handling these duties, is a coked out idiot.

Nonetheless, young Mike wants out and does something he probably shouldn’t have done to get out. So Mike leaves his baby sister with at the daycare center, which by chance is run by Rachel (Athena Kakanis) who is good friends with our tortured cop and I think wants to make a love connection with the guy since his wife is out of the picture and all. She calls John to let him know that Mike is in trouble, and boy… is Mike in trouble. We’re not going to talk about Mike anymore. However, somebody needs to keep an eye on this little girl for a bit so why not the drunken, miserable, slovenly cop? Makes sense.

Now the trouble really starts because the top dog drug dealer of this organization (Kim Coates) is in town looking for what Mike stole from him, the adorable little girl is in all kinds of peril, our troubled cop has cleverly figured out what has been stolen and has arranged a meeting where the switch can take place. It’s looking like the outnumbered Officer John isn’t going to survive this exchange that’s going to go down at the local diocese… unless of course… the priest at this church (Christian Slater) by chance happens to be a retired ex-special forces super secret badass! What are the chances of that?

The last half hour of ‘Sacrifice’ with the mindless shootouts at night clubs, Kim Coates finally getting into the movie, a little bit of torture of seductive minxes, retired special forces badass priests, a scene featuring one man looking into the eye of another man holding a gun on him, a man who is clearly insane and unnecessarily calling him a ‘dumb nigger cop’… that’s some pretty damn good delightfully stupid stuff. The problem with ‘Sacrifice’ is making it to this delightfully stupid final act.

I know Cuba was supposed to be depressed in this movie but he seemed more bored than anything else, probably because his character kept flashbacking over and over again to his wife and daughter getting murdered. I got it the first time, the eighth time around was just overkill. And if that cute kid creaks out one more ‘I love you Daddy’ I think I would choke it if it wasn’t dead already.

We didn’t care too much about young Mike’s relationship with his cute sister and his stupid plan to ‘Get Out of the Game’, Zion Lee is a really fit dude but he hasn’t learned how to act yet, Christian Slater seems just slightly less bored than Cuba Gooding Jr. and this movie took its own sweet time in going virtually nowhere.

But the minute Cuba Gooding Jr. walked into that club… now we have a movie I can get with. Has actor Kim Coates ever been caught sleepwalking through movie he was acting in? I don’t think so. This is a man who can chew up a scene and spit it out like few others. There was potential here my friends considering we have a film that features a laundry list of fine actors, some decent action when there was action and pretty good final act but unfortunately most of these things have three acts. ‘Sacrifice’ is much better than the last Straight to DVD joint we saw Cuba and Christian in, that being the movie ‘Lies and Illusions’, but if there was ever faint praise, this is it.

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