Shrapnel (2023) Review



Shrapnel is a 90 minute bloodbath with a huge bodycount, violent kills, likeable heroes and hateful villains. There isn’t much in terms of story or characters but sometimes you don’t need that and we just get a straightforward but thoroughly enjoyable revenge tale.

Plot: A former Marine and his war buddy face off against the Mexican cartel after his daughter mysteriously vanishes during a trip to Mexico with her best friend.

Review: Shrapnel slipped under my radar a few months back when it came out as normally a new action film directed by William Kaufman is always a must see as he’s incapable of making a bad movie. As I am currently down with Covid it’s given me some time to catch up on some films I’ve missed so Shrapnel was first on my list and it didn’t disappoint.

At a tight 89 minutes Shrapnel wastes no time in getting going quickly establishing that our hero Sean (Jason Patric) is an ex-marine searching for his daughter who went over the border to Mexico to party but was kidnapped by a cartel. The police are in on it so Sean vows on television that he will come and find her. This doesn’t sit well with Victor Garza (Mauricio Mendoza) who sends a squad of assassins to Sean’s ranch to silence him, but Sean isn’t going to go down without a fight. What ensues is, one hour of absolute carnage.

Shrapnel would make a perfect double bill with Rambo: Last Blood as it’s a similar story with a lone hero battling against a cartel at his ranch in the desert. This doesn’t have the same budget but is every bit as satisfyingly gruesome, especially with some of those head shots. There isn’t much to the story or characters but sometimes there doesn’t need to be. The bad guys took the good guy’s daughter and need to be stopped. That’s all we need.

Jason Patric remains an underappreciated actor and he’s perfect at playing the troubled yet stoic Sean who will stop at nothing to get his little girl back. He is helped by his buddy Max (Cam Gigandet) as they go searching for Victor and for vengeance. This movie has one of the most satisfying villain comeuppances I’ve seen for some time; when Sean comes face to face with Garza he just beats the living shit out of him and he deserves every bit of it. I was cheering him on and by the time the end credits rolled my bloodlust was satiated… for now.

Overall, Shrapnel may not have much to it in terms of story, but it doesn’t need to as it’s just a 90 minute bloodbath with some great kills and a bodycount surely nearing triple digits. I loved it.