I blame it on Ripley, believe it or not. Sigourney Weaver’s gun-totin’, ball-bustin’, space-travelin’ Ellen Ripley from the Alien franchise introduced a new type of hero to the action movie: the kick-ass female. Weaver’s ballsy character led to Catwoman and Lara Croft and, inevitably, some far-fetched heroines like the one we meet in A Lonely Place to Die.
And so in this British attempt to cash in on the lucrative action-movie market we get Alison (Melissa George), a supermodel-type who, improbably: 1) dodges bullets; 2) plunges from mountainous crags down to lethal river rapids; and 3) out-muscles professional killers in hand-to-hand combat.
Alison is the alpha female in a quintet of mountaineers who, during an outing in the Scottish Highlands, discover a Serbian girl who’s been kidnapped and then buried in a box. The climbers rescue the girl and are then stalked by the kidnappers, two nasty mercenaries who manage to bump off everyone in the cast except for, naturally, Newt and Rip– … er, Alison and the little girl.
A Lonely Place to Die boasts some spectacular views of the Scottish hills, and director Julian Gilbey handles the physical scenes capably. Movies like this can be fun, provided the more-ridiculous aspects are coupled with a wink at the audience. But Gilbey and the actors treat the material with dead seriousness, so that by the time Alison outduels a killer who is wearing a pig mask, I wasn’t buying a bit of it. Grade: C
Director: Julian Gilbey Cast: Melissa George, Ed Speleers, Eamonn Walker, Sean Harris, Alec Newman, Karel Roden, Kate Magowan, Garry Sweeney, Stephen McCole, Holly Boyd Release: 2011
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Above, Melissa George as a mountain climber in A Lonely Place to Die. Below, Melissa George as mountains in Dark City.
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