SYNOPSIS: Falcon Rising, the first installment in the CODENAME: FALCON franchise, introduces former marine John “Falcon” Chapman, a dark anti-hero driven by guilt and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, who will destroy himself unless given something else to destroy – a useful weapon-of-last-resort for the U.S. State Department. When Chapman’s sister is brutally attacked while on assignment in Brazil, Chapman flies into Sao Paulo to track down her assailants, quickly entering the city’s seedy underbelly and discovering a world of drugs, the sex trade, corrupt cops, and organized crime syndicates battling for control.
I’ve always thought Michale Jai White was an under-appreciated actor and action star; when I first heard that he’d signed on for a movie called Favela (which would be renamed Falcon Rising) playing a character called John Chapman, I was excited that he was going to be given his own action movie franchise.
It ended up going straight to VOD and DVD but it remains a kick ass actioner that deserves more love. MJW is a beast in this movie and the final fight scene between him and 3 bad guys is one of the best fight scenes of his career.
Although the movie is a little slow in the first half, I liked that he actually spent time investigating what happened to his sister and would only use violence as a last resort. This isn’t a squeaky clean hero either; when we are introduced to him he is suffering from PTSD and drinking shots of whiskey with real bullets in them. We’ve all been there before… right?
It also refreshingly had Neal McDonough play a good guy who doesn’t betray John Chapman and has his back right until the end.
After Chapman has taken down the Yakuza and corrupt police force in the Favela, he is given a file with his old codename “Falcon” and he accepts the job to help the government in order to cover his sister’s medical bills. Before the end credits roll he puts the alcohol down and makes the decision to let go of the past and embrace who he is.
So it perfectly sets up further adventures under the Codename: Falcon name. I believe it was initially meant to be made into a trilogy and I would personally love to see more movies or like so many other low budget movies, it could also work as a Netflix series.
Would you watch a sequel? I sure would. I’d also just be happy to see the film get a Blu-ray release in North America…