Set in Buffalo, New York, it is three days before Christmas. Jason (Patrick Sean Flanery) is a highly-skilled veteran, having suffered from a tragic incident with his fellow men in the field. In the present day, Jason suffers from haunting visions of the tragedy and has PTSD. Jason’s wife works at VA-33, a Hospital that looks after Veterans. The entire building is undergoing significant repairs and renovations from top to bottom. While Jason and his daughter visit the hospital to have lunch with his wife, his wife is called into an urgent meeting with high up US military members. When Jason is advised she is now unavailable, he soon suspects that some staff are dangerous. He quickly discovers that terrorists have overtaken the hospital and are pretending to be staff members on duty.
Seeking help from the outside, Jason calls the local police department and speaks with Captain Malone (Michael Jai White), but the police assume the call is being made from a patient within the hospital. With little to no help coming from the police, it is now up to Jason to take the guys out one by one and save his wife along with the remaining hostages, who are all trapped inside the building.
The performance from Sean Patrick Flanery as Jason is fine. The action is generally vague, with only a few moments that deliver any enjoyment. Most kills are done with gunfire and obvious CGI effects. The leading bad guy played by Weston Cage Coppola was a nice touch to the film. The actor is obviously having fun playing this role and delivers harsh threats and villainous dialogue throughout. The remaining characters consist of typical bad guys who get knocked off one by one. But the weakest and most disappointing performance came from Michael Jay White, who is horribly wasted in this film. Even his lines felt unfitting and unbearable.
As a plot, Assault on VA-33 follows the standard format and pace if you compare it to films such as Die Hard. Basically, it is a one-man army taking on a group of bad guys all in one location. While this type of concept is always welcomed, there are moments in this film that are highly questionable. The film’s opening alone had me baffled as it shows our leading hero at an airport hangar with two bad guys along with his daughter being held at gunpoint. The movie gives its viewers the final moments of the film first before going back in time to show how the lead got to this point. I honestly found this scene to be a major issue. By showing this opening, viewers know in advance that the hero is successful enough at taking most (or all) of the bad guys down, which takes away any suspense or real concern for the leading hero.
While the location of VA-33 sounds like a big place to have a battle, it feels quite small. Obviously, the location is not a hospital at all, and the sets are filled with basic posters and fillers to dress it up as a hospital. It is supposed to be three days before Christmas, and yet not a single bit of decoration can be found. The number of actors used within the film is minimal, making the location feel small due to the film’s budget. For some reason, light seems to be an issue as many scenes are far too bright and look incorrect.
Overall, movie lovers who enjoy a B-grade version of Die Hard will generally know what is in store for them: a brainless film with a one-person army taking on a group of terrorists. The action and dialogue are all extremely cheesy. For the most part, performances are simply ok with the film’s villain played by Weston Cage Coppola bringing some delight to the screen. The film is far from perfect and riddled with odd choices and disappointments. The limited budget is also evident from start to finish. The tag line for this film is “Die Hard on Steroids”, when in fact it seems more suitable to tag it as “Die Hard on Fruit Loops”.
Assault on VA-33 (2021) is Available on Digital from May 5th!