REVIEW: ‘Xtreme’ Lives Up to Its Name

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Xtreme

Barcelona is a beautiful city. Its buildings boast a collection of modern facades mixed in with older and more intricately designed ornate aspects. Immense gothic cathedrals tower high for all to see. So it’s no wonder that the Netflix original, Xtreme (or Xtremo in Spanish) was filmed in this bewitching location. Directed by  Daniel Benmayor, and starring Teo García as Maximo, and Óscar Jaenada, as Lucero.

The movie tells of a hitman, Maximo, who is all set to complete his final mission, thus earning his retirement with his young son while enjoying a peaceful and comfortable life. Things naturally veer of course quickly though, when his power-hungry brother in arms, Lucero, and son of a criminal enterprise, makes a huge powerplay to take over the family business.  Lucero must move quickly to claim the loyalty of his father’s men, or eliminate them from the board, including Maximo. If Lucero can’t use Maximo’s deadly abilities then no one can. Two years later, and Maximo has crafted a careful plan to finally take down the brother who took everything from him.

Oh, my, word! The cold open of this film quite literally holds zero punches, throwing you into the deep end as Maximo’s services are quickly needed to take out a sizable Columbian drug cartel in order to protect his then-boss, Lucero. This opening, however, sets the tone for the remainder of the film and gives you an insight into the quality of the cinematography, the intensity of the fight, and stunt choreography, and brilliant performances brought forward by the cast. It is fast, hard-hitting, and irresistibly entertaining.

Entering the film I wasn’t sure fully what to expect, however within the first five minutes it becomes clear that there was some serious financial backing to have this film delivered in a style that even some recent Netflix originals have been lacking. There are many beautiful aerial shots that compliment the transitions of plot, and gives the viewer an idea of the landscape our characters are operating within. Even beyond that though, the vision of Benmayor and the shots he chose to spotlight really compliment the tone and style of the film. Xtreme looks visually fantastic at times and for that alone it is worth a watch.

Thankfully, however, this movie has so much more going for it, and one of my favorite elements has to be the fight, and stunt choreography. Circling back to the beginning of the film, you are thrown into the immense detail and skill these actors, and stunt actors bring to the set. It often evoked that feeling I had when first watching Keanu Reeves John Wick, or more recently Bob Odenkirks NobodyIt is hard-hitting, and the audio department outdoes themselves as you feel the weight of those punches and kicks. The fights are also incredibly well designed in their creative approach with many great scenes to boast in their portfolio of how to get action right. One of those sequences happens around the midway point, while in the middle of a nightclub’s bathroom and the progression of the fight is so inventive and dynamic, it leaves you smiling because it is just incredibly badass.

Now those fight scenes, and weapon choreography, is brought to life by the inexplicable magnificence of Teo García. García plays the grizzled lone wolf, who can’t help himself but fight on behalf of those who need his help, but while staying singularly focused on his goal of revenge from the people who stole his family from him. The whole cast, however, brings a really relatable sense of emotion to their roles as you can’t have a revenge film without the tragedy. That tragedy needs to be felt, and believed, otherwise the whole movie falls apart. Xtreme also possesses some fantastic villains, that allow the viewer to believe, and want to urge Maximo to complete his quest.

Lucero plays a big part of the plot in that sense and is obviously the ultimate final boss of the movie. Jaenada captures the unhinged and paranoid nature of Lucero and personifies that bad guy you can’t wait to see get his just desserts.

Sadly though, Jaenada’s fight choreography ability leaves a lot to be desired, as the culminating clash between the two forces of Maximo and Lucero finally come crashing together. The fight itself is slow, clunky, and highly underwhelming, so to end the film on that note is disappointing.

In the end though, regardless of the somewhat bland final fight sequence, this Netflix original is an enthralling action film. It is a high octane, rollercoaster of a ride in which García delivers a spectacular performance on all fronts. An all-out action flick that refuses to hold its punches. I would recommend this in a heartbeat as a great weekend movie sure to entertain.

Xtreme is available exclusively on Netflix now.

Xtreme
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

In the end though, regardless of the somewhat bland final fight sequence, this Netflix original is an enthralling action film. It is a high octane, rollercoaster of a ride in which García delivers a spectacular performance on all fronts. An all out action flick which refuses to hold its punches. I would recommend this in a heartbeat as a great weekend movie sure to entertain.