Director: Jon Keeyes
Writer: Matthew Rogers
Stars: Antonio Banderas, Jaime King, Tommy Flanagan
A Banshee is a spirit that wails and warns of death, or so the legend goes. It is quite useful to have this name as a main character, since his presence supposedly guarantees the other side’s doom. Based on the name (Code Name Banshee), audiences will be directed to see this protagonist of Antonio Banderas, Jaime King and Tommy Flanagan waiting for an agent, something gone wrong and the arrival of someone from the past leading to a bitter conflict. Code Name Banshee offers just that.
The movie focuses on, well, of course, Banshee (even if you don’t call her that). He has become a hit woman and crosses paths with an old rival who wants her to turn over her former mentor, Caleb (Antonio Banderas).
It can be seen as an established template, or perhaps the curse of having seen so many movies that it becomes difficult to be surprised by a director. However, Jon Keeyes didn’t really try and seemed to have given up, except for one case that turned out to be surprising. Aside from the director, even the writer seemed to have lost interest. While the action scenes are sharp and well done, the lulls leave a lot to be desired.
Writer Matthew Rogers forgot to mention or include a montage of where/how Banshee was trained. Unless she was already an agent assigned to Caleb. However, even that seems unlikely after seeing the introduction and certain flashbacks.
Another drawback of the writing unit is the forced dialogues of the past between two people who have just met and are ready for battle. It seems strange that they have casual conversations when faced with an imminent attack from a large group. Such a thing is common in war movies, but these feature soldiers who have been together for months.
Antonio Banderas has left behind his roles as Robert Rodríguez. The cool quotient is gone, but he packs a punch as an exiled CIA agent working as a bartender. He looks like someone trying to get rid of his old life, but you can’t take some things away from him. Caleb shoots like a dream and single-handedly destroys three men.
His daughter, Hailey, played by Catherine Davis, is like a miniature version of him. She seems natural with a gun and comes off as a highly trained assassin in a big gunfight. She is poor writing that is not masked by the dialogue about the grenades.
Jaime King continued to be the standout no-nonsense killer who really brought the cold-blooded killer to life extremely well. If only he had some good lines, Banshee would have been remembered. The only character from Code Name Banshee who would be remembered is Greene. The mannerisms and aura of him as an antagonist can grow on the audience. However, the silly writing also haunts him.
It’s pretty confusing why a person with a gun and in control would choose to drop the guns to do things “old fashioned”. Especially when he knows the opponent’s ability. He is just stupid. Seeing his decision in other parts of the movie will make you wonder why he abandoned his brain for his heart.