So for those of you who don’t know, I’m a longtime fan of USA’s “Burn Notice”, the show is a lot of fun and is generally one of the strongest summer shows on television. This week they released a prequel film entitled “The Fall of Sam Axe”, explaining how Sam washed out of the SEALs and ended up in Miami.
This prequel does a solid job considering it is just designed to hold over the fans for another few months until the summer season begins. The film has the perfect balance of action and comedy we’ve come to expect from the series, and doesn’t squander the talent of Bruce Campbell. Several funny one-liners and snappy dialogue keeps the plot at a tolerable level.
The setting of the film is quite beautiful and I would have hoped that the film would have taken a bit more advantage of that by using it more in the composition of the film, but that can be difficult when using limited budget.
My biggest gripe with this film was how predictable the story was. Granted, the story can have only so many twists in it, being a prequel we already know that Sam lives, receives an honorable discharge from the Navy, and heads to Miami where he meets up with Westen. That all being said, from the moment we meet the Beatrice character (maybe, 30 minutes in) just about anyone could decipher pretty much exactly the path the film was going to take from that point on. Character development in the film was pretty much avoided all together which leads me to believe that no one from this plotline besides possibly Beatrice will be referenced again in the series.
The bottom line is if you’re a “Burn Notice” fan and you missed this, you didn’t miss much. It’s a nice taste of the series if you’ve really been missing it, but it’s nothing particularly spectacular. Beyond that, it was directed by Donavan which means that the style and tone of the film will likely not be transferred into the show. Still, while it’s not exactly “24: Redemption”, it’s not so bad.
*MINOR SPOLIER ALERT* there’s no cameo by Fiona (although plenty of explosions, not to fret), which would have been a nice touch at some point.
If you aren’t a “Burn Notice” fan, this isn’t going to change that for you; nothing was done that was particularly revolutionary about this film. That being said, if you just haven’t seen an episode of “Burn Notice” because, I don’t know, you didn’t have cable or something, this isn’t a bad entry into the series, but keep in mind that during a regular season the show is capable of a much higher quality experience than this.