It's been a while since I've been this at odds with the general public, and my peers, when it comes to the opinion of a film.
Having thought the trailers looked dull and the movie was likely to be forgettable crap, I went into this one with low expectations. However, immediately after viewing it I found it be an exceptionally well-made piece of thriller film making.
Allow me to address the common gripes people seemed to have. Most were expecting a raucous Mel Gibson comeback vehicle, with Crazy Mel shooting up countless thugs and loving it. I suppose the bad marketing would lead one to expect as much. This film is obviously far from that, and I enjoyed that change of pace.
In fact, a lot about this film is a welcomed change of pace. The writing is terse and to-the-point, the story moves itself along methodically but never boringly, the score is appropriately moody. Mel Gibson plays a man slowly approaching boiling point. It's a steady, satisfying performance and shows a more subtle side to GIbson that we do not often see. The greatest asset to the picture is Martin Campbell. His directing is even-handed to a degree I haven't seen from many working directors today. The shots and framing are elegant and echo a classic thriller mold.
Those expecting a loud action film will be surely disappointed. It's equally disappointing that people are not able to think outside the box and enjoy something a little different. Every Mel Gibson film has to be Payback or Lethal Weapon? That's a dumb way to think.