Movie Review: Security (2017)

Antonio Banderas plays Eddie Deacon, a former Marine Captain who has fallen on tough times and takes a mall security job to support his family. On his first night, a little girl fleeing a band of mercenaries (led by Ben Kingsley) takes refuge in the mall and it’s up to Eddie and his team to keep her safe until help can arrive.

It seems like a recipe for a simple, straightforward action movie. The problem is Security doesn’t know what sort of action movie it wants to be. On one hand, you have a Die-Hardian tale of a ragtag mall security team overcoming the odds against a small army of trained mercenaries. On the other hand, you have a highly-skilled ex-soldier taking out droves of enemies single-handedly and with John Woo flair to boot. And then, on a third mutant hand, you have the bastard child of Home Alone and Paul Blart: Mall Cop, wherein the bad guys fall victim to slapstick traps fabricated from innocuous mall items by cartoon-like supporting characters. 

The film weaves back and forth between these three identities through its 90-minute runtime, never sticking with one for too long. The problem is that as the movie flip flops, its tone changes, and you never have enough time to fully adjust to what you’re watching. Just as you begin to appreciate what the film is doing, it does something that betrays the newly-established tone. This is a film where minimum-wage blue collar security guards get brutally executed by bad guys who get tricked into shooting mannequins wearing sombreros.

With Banderas and Kingsley as the leads and some solid action (especially the Woo parts), Security is a fun watch, even if it tests your ability to take it seriously. Case in point: the best part of the entire movie might be security guard Vance (Liam McIntyre). Vance starts off as obnoxious and bumbling, and actually has a genuine scumbag moment, but undergoes a fairly satisfying transformation into a worthy hero once he’s faced with real conflict. Sometimes the greater good isn’t immediately visible, and Vance’s moral hiccup and subsequent redemption ring true.

Unfortunately, he looks like this.

Even Antonio can’t bear to look at him.