Review by Jamie M MacDonald
Battled hardened ex-soldier Michael `Duffy` Duffield (Frank Grillo) is a drifter wandering from town to town. He couldn’t be there for his family before, so he is m aking his way to LA to set this wrong right. After an altercation in a bar, Duffy attracts the attention of Max (Mekhi Phifer) an ex con with ties to underground fight clubs run by crime boss Sage (Dermot Mulroney) little does Duffy know after he excepts Max`s offer, to make fast money and lots of it. He will enter a dangerous world, which will not only pit him against his opponents in the ring, but also against corrupt cops who run the city on behave of bigger crime bosses than maybe even Sage. Taken in by Max`s sister Rachel (Erica Peeples) Duffy will be there for Max`s family atoning for his own past, when both worlds collide, as Max`s past rapidly catches up with him….
Lights Out for me was a breath of fresh air to watch, it is a 90 minute film that sets up quickly the main character Duffy`s background, you know who he is from the first five minutes of the film. It does not hang about introducing his friend and army brother Don `The Reaper` Ritcher played by one of my favourite action stars Scott Adkins who also acts as executive producer on the film. The opening battle though brief tells so much within a short time of who Duffy is, and you know he is going to call on Reaper before the end of these 90 minutes. All the cast are really good, the bond friendship between Dufy and Max is very well played by both actors Grillo and Phifer. Though, for me it is the scenes between Rachel played by Erica Peeples and Grillo`s Duffy, that give the film heart and drive for Duffy to step up and be there for Max`s family, when both Rachel and her daughter are put in danger through no fault of their own. Jaime King is totally cast against type and she has a ball in the role of Detective Ellen Ridway, I can`t remember seeing her so convincingly nasty as she is here. I`ve been a fan of Dermot Mulroney`s since seeing him in Young Guns as a kid in the 80s. He has a natural way of acting which always makes him convincing and a solid
actor. I`m very much looking forward to see him in action in Art Camancho`s Ruthless.
Very tightly directed by Christian Sesma (Section Eight) Lights Out is fast paced as it speeds towards the explosive finale. The action as you`d expect from Adkins and Grillo`s involvement is bone crunching, realistic and very well filmed. I like the kind of X ray bits you get after impact is made to see the damage that is done; it works well here on the occasions that it is used. Written by Chad Law and Garry Charles with tweaks by writer and the film`s main producer Brandon Burrows, who also pops up in one scene. Lights Out is an old school gritty no messing about fight film that delivers all the way. I think that this is the first time that Scott Adkins and Frank Grillo have collaborated on a film together, after watching this I hope that the pair get a chance to work together again on future projects.
Also for me, Lights Out would make a great pilot for a TV show, I`d like to follow Duffy drifting from town to town helping people on his way constantly redeeming himself and coming to terms with his past. Check out the trailer below,

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