It would take all your fingers and toes to count the action films starring Bruce Willis and Ah-nold in the mass-video / mass-streaming ere that seriously had absolutely no business getting made. Now, with this sad excuse for a film, Sly tosses his hat into the ring of the paycheck-whoring of action star credentials by playing a cop who sort-of lingers around as a plot facilitator for 80 minutes and then plays Rambo with a handgun for the last 10 minutes.
If you can imagine a mash up of "Reservoir Dogs" (without the flashbacks and character development, and it sucked), "A Simple Plan" (with the ethical conundrums reduced to three lines of easily missed dialogue), peppered together with a grab bad of cliche "local cops good; FBI bad" plot twists (not very twisty), and on top of that, there is the mind-enhancing drug angle (although if you were expected "Limitless", don't. Think "The Jacket" done with over-the-top shaky-cam and the director basically telling Mathew Modine, "Grab your head and scream like your in pain", and rather than suspenseful pacing and the tense overtones of a mad scientist in a sanitarium, expect three minor characters who basically want loot.)
Together the minor characters and Mr. "My Brain Hurts" Modine visit three locations from the past to trigger memories. We're not talking about places with any action, or places where anything mysterious or particularly captivating gets revealed. Think of an empty house or a vacant lot, jazzed up with lots of shaky-cam. And every time, the catalyst for building tension in the story is the same -- someone shows up and asks what they are doing there. Wow. What an action movie.
The film sandwiches it's "action" between two over-the-top shoot out's that are completely ridiculous. I mean laughable. The kind of shootouts where there's a 10 minute fire-fight, and when it's over, rather than collect the guy who knows where the money is stashed (who, by the way, they've been shooting to kill), the bad guy suddenly says, "We've got to get out of here", and they just leave. That bad. But the most ridiculous thing is Sly's hair. I don't know whether to long for the days of convention spray-on hair darkening effects, or call for the resurrection of Sean Connery's toupe, but Stallone's hair looks like it was photo-shopped by a 9-year-old using an iPad. I'm mildly suspicious they also tried to photoshop a crease down the middle of Mathew Modine's forehead. That would be odd. Maybe the director thought it added more realism to his perennial scene: my head hurts!