Several years back, I caught a little movie called The Veteran that I quite enjoyed. It starred Toby Kebbell, whom I love and who has come into his own recently as a motion capture actor among many other things. When I saw the recent trailer for All The Devil’s Men, the presence of Milo Gibson in the starring role really caught my eye because of his striking resemblance to his father Mel. When I looked into the project and saw that Matthew Hope (the writer/director of The Veteran) also served in the same capacity on this film, I was curious enough to check this title out.
All The Devil’s Men is an action thriller set in the shadowy world of CIA operatives, private mercenaries, and international intrigue. It’s a globetrotting thriller that features a wide array of espionage tropes such as tough guys who “only work alone” and who are constantly attempting to one-up each other when they’re inevitably forced to work together. There’s a charmingly strong cast playing with these ingredients here, including Blade Runner 2049’s Sylvia Hoeks playing Leigh, our hero Collins’ handler. William Fichtner also plays a significant role as Brennan, a field agent with questionable loyalties. Gibson makes little impression one way or another as Collins. He’s physically impressive enough to fit the action star mold, and his eyes are shockingly reminiscent of his father’s. At times you see some of the spark that propelled Mel into international stardom. Other times he’s more of a blank slate. Much like the film itself, Milo Gibson never quite veers into “bad” territory, but he also never rises above the pack to truly distinguish himself.
The plot involves a true believer type of free agent dealer who is trying to sell some kind of nuclear device on the open market. The movie smartly avoids the Islamic terrorism angle and makes the threat more of an internal one. Gibson’s Collins is trying to stop the sale at all costs, and lots of double and triple crosses will happen before it all resolves. Hope’s script and direction do an adequate job of playing in the playground of all of these high tech spy thrillers, but never really breaks out to be something distinctive or singular. It’s a forgettable and adequate jaunt.
In the end, I can’t say that I particularly recommend All The Devil’s Men. There’s not a lot of direct criticism I can lay upon it except that some 2 days after watching it I really struggled to recall anything noteworthy or memorable about the whole project. It goes down easy as a slick low budget espionage film, but won’t leave you much to chew on once the mission is complete. Because it never veers into outright awful territory, I will say that I’ll keep my eye out for future projects from both writer/director Matthew Hope and Milo Gibson as well. Those as intrigued as I was by the gathering of talent around this film could do a lot worse than to give it a spin and decide for themselves what they think.
And I’m Out.
All The Devil’s Men is available theatrically on Dec. 7th, 2018 and exclusively on DirecTV Dec. 8th from Saban Films, Lionsgate, and DirecTV.