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One Day As A Lion DVD Review

The cast and characters shine in “One Day As A Lion.”

Directed by John Swab, “One Day As A Lion” is a crime dramedy that revolves around a former boxer (Jimmy) who is assigned to put a hit out on a cowboy (Walter) that owes a crime boss (Pauly) money. Jimmy follows Walter into a cafe, but botches the job and ends up getting a waitress (Lola) wrapped up into the messy situation. Both Lola and Jimmy are in bad places in their lives. Jimmy’s son is in jail and he needs money for a lawyer while Lola needs money from her rich dying mother to return to Costa Rica to pursue her acting school business dream. Lola devises a plan with Jimmy to get them out of their ruts, but Pauly (who is displeased with Jimmy’s screw-up) could complicate matters.

Much of the time these direct to home video crime dramedies are entirely disposable and forgettable, but “One Day As A Lion” is refreshingly entertaining. While the script (which is penned by star Scott Caan) is serviceable if a tad implausible (particularly the courtroom scene) and rushed in the end, you will likely find yourself invested in the story thanks to a winning cast of characters (and a great cast to boot). Jimmy and Lola are two engaging leads and the supporting characters (namely Walter and the lawyer Ken) are often quirky and weird. 

For some reason, the film is billed as an action movie and a thriller in many spots, but that’s not what this movie is. There’s very little action aside from some shootouts and fisticuffs. It’s mostly a crime film with characters trying to deal with the situations they have found themselves in. 

Going back to the cast which includesScott Caan, J.K. Simmons, Frank Grillo, Virginia Madsen, Marianne Rendon, Taryn Manning, Billy Blair and George Carroll , the entire ensemble really elevates the film as a whole. Scott Caan wrote himself a nice role and he takes full advantage of it. Marianne Rendon steals the movie as the jaded waitress Lola whose life takes a detour after she meets Jimmy. Frank Grillo is Frank Grillo. He’s always on point (especially as a bad guy). J.K. Simmons doesn’t have a ton to do, but he automatically classes up the movie as the cowboy Walter. Character actors George Carroll and Billy Blair also deliver memorable performances as Dom and Billy respectively. Virgina Madsen’s role is limited, but she gives an enthusiastic performance as Lola’s dying mother known as The Black Widow (you’ll find out why).


Presentation: 2.00:1. Grade: B+

Audio Track: Dolby Digital 5.1. Grade: B+

Extras include a deleted scene and a trailer.


May 13, 2023 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , ,

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