Film Review: 6 Ways to Die

Convoluted and fast-paced, Nadeem Soumah's revenge thriller delivers some neat plot twists...maybe a few too many for one little movie.
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John Doe (Vinnie Jones) is very, very angry, and the man he's angry at is Sonny "Sundown" Garcia, a major-league drug distributor who’s done him wrong. Very, very wrong: Garcia betrayed John, killed his girlfriend and set him up to take the fall, all to prove himself worthy of joining a major Mexican drug cartel. Now that he's out of prison, Doe wants revenge–the kind of very complicated revenge that makes for entertaining if improbable movies crammed to the gills with eccentric tough guys, pretty ladies, fancy cars and big guns.

Doe doesn't want Sonny dead–he wants him to die a thousand deaths and keep on living. Okay, not a thousand...but enough—he wants to gut Sonny's life the way Sonny gutted his, to take away his business, his money, his love and his reputation, then leave him twisting in the wind. And he's willing to hire as many thugs, dirty cops and drop-dead gorgeous con women as it takes to make it happen.

As I said, improbable...actually, make that preposterous. But if you stop trying to turn your brain into a pretzel as the twists and turns and flashbacks—many, many flashbacks—transform the story into a sort of narrative Gordian knot and just let the pretty locations, stylish production design and attractive cast wash over you, 6 Ways to Die is a neat little diversion filled with familiar faces, especially if you have a little thing for ’90s genre movies. They include Bai Ling, Vivica A. Fox, Tom Sizemore, Dominique Swain and, of course, the gravel-voiced Jones, who actually gets to play what passes for a good guy in this nest of writhing vipers. And point to writer, director, cinematographer and co-producer Soumah for managing to do all those things pretty well–he may be a little over-reliant on close-ups of smoking guns, but even the best one-man band is bound to come up a little short somewhere.

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