“Ever Seen That?”- Shot Caller
Writer/director Ric Roman Waugh has a catalogue with a couple of films that I could feature, but today is all about Shot Caller. The end of Waugh’s “Prison Trilogy” is the tale of Jacob Harlon, played by the exceptional Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who through bad decisions, timing, and situations goes from successful stock broker to convicted felon.
Once in prison, Harlon gets a crash course in what life is like on the inside from Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Donovan, and eventually, the always underrated Holt McCallany. The cast also includes Omari Hardwick, Lake Bell, Benjamin Bratt, and Evan Jones. For my MMA fans, Keith Jardine has what’s basically an extended cameo, but the guy is absolutely shredded. That’s a loaded list of names, but there is no denying this is Coster-Waldau’s film. Seeing how his character hardens from day one in jail to the film’s climax is something to behold. What he brings out of Harlon is something that permeates from the film as a whole…the honesty of it all. This is a violent, mean film at times, but through it all, there seems to be a realness that can’t be understated. I felt the same way about Felon, the first of Waugh’s “prison trilogy” that has been seriously overlooked.
It may be Coster-Waldau’s performance that shines the brightest, but there is a lot to like here from the supporting cast. I’ve gotta give a shout out to Holt McCallany who plays someone aptly named “The Beast.” McCallany brings an intensity that’s hard to match, especially in the setting we get his interactions. He’s a guy that always stands out to me and one Hollywood whiffed on as we’re seeing now in the super popular Mindhunter series. Another underrated face you may recognize even if you may not know the name is Jeffrey Donovan. As one of the first influencers for our “hero,” Donovan brings a calm intensity to “Bottles,” a shot caller for the white supremacist gang on the inside that may only be out done by McCallany.
Next time you’re looking for something gritty, violent but with some heart to it, head over to Netflix and check out Shot Caller.
John Mosley is the independent wrestling and TV aficionado of the SoBros Network. He graduated from ETSU with a degree in Radio, TV and Film along with a minor in Film Studies. Since graduating he’s done pretty much nothing but watch, film, edit or commentate for local wrestling promotions and is the current color commentator for Resolute Wrestling. #Preds #Titans #DefendOrVacateConor. Follow on Twitter: @SoBroMose