As Good As Dead (2022) – Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)

“As Good As Dead” is yet another movie which makes you question why Michael Jai White isn’t a bigger action movie star?


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Movie Title Card

“As Good As Dead” is yet another movie which makes you question why Michael Jai White isn’t a bigger action movie star?

Director(s) R. Ellis Frazier
Screenplay By Michael Jai White
Based On N/A
Date Released (Video On Demand) December 16, 2022
Genre(s) Action, Crime
Duration 1 Hour 28 Minutes
Content Rating Not Rated
Noted Cast
Bryant Davis Michael Jai White
Heather Davis Gillian White
Oscar Luca Oriel
Hector Guillermo Ivan

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text in this post may contain affiliate links which, if a purchase is made from those sites, we may earn money or products from the company.

Film Summary

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Bryant Davis is a former DEA and LAPD who, after pissing off the wrong person, nearly lost his wife, Heather, so he decided to head south of the border to live a quiet life as a surveyor. However, between a young man named Oscar wanting to train with him, combined with Oscar’s desire to push back against the whims of his older brother, Hector’s gang, L-17, Bryant’s secret comes out, and faces from his past spring up.

Things To Note

Why Is “As Good As Dead” Rated Not Rated

  • Dialog: Some cursing
  • Violence: Gun Violence, Blood, Slightly Graphic Deaths
  • Sexual Content: None
  • Miscellaneous: Nothing major

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Bryant

Bryant is a former cop who, because he wouldn’t play dirty, ended up exposing a lot of corruption that led to him becoming public enemy number one. Thus leading to his wife, Heather, being threatened, and Bryant, to protect her, leaving, with him asking her to present the idea he left due to domestic violence rather than his wife getting roughed up since his enemies couldn’t touch him.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Blade (voice) in “Midnight Suns,” Ben Turner in “Arrow,” Black Dynamite in “Black Dynamite” and Marcus in the “Why Did I Get Married” franchise and “For Better or Worse.”

Heather

Heather is Bryant’s wife, who has, for years, maintained he did the worse in order to keep him alive.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Diane Wilmont in “The Oval,” Akilah in the upcoming “The Island,” and Alyssa in “Love You Anyway.”

Oscar

Oscar is an under-18-year-old kid who, with his brother being the head of the Mexican gang, L-17, was likely expected to follow in his footsteps. But, with Oscar wanting a normal life, to go to school, and to keep Hector’s business separate from his, he mimics Bryant, who he watches train, and eventually becomes trained by him.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Derek in “Shameless”

Hector

Fresh out of jail, Hector is the only family Oscar has and struggles to understand why Oscar would reject the life he has built up, never mind associate with a cop like Bryant/

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Salmon Bonapart in “A Couple in Quarantine,” Eddie in “The Flowers” and El Cholo in “The Unknown Hitman: The Story of El Cholo Adrian”

Review


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Our Rating: Mixed (Divisive)

Highlights

Decent Action Sequences

The best action scenes of “As Good As Dead” are when it is hand-to-hand combat. Now, are any of the moves something that will make you flinch? No. They are all choreographed in a way where you can tell safety was focused on more than style, which is fine. After all, who wants a stunt person to get hurt?

But, while the hand-to-hand combat may not be flinch-worthy, the gun fights aren’t much better. Yes, they are still cool, and if you are the type who likes to see a bullet hole after someone is shot, you’ll enjoy what you see. There is even a memorable crossbow moment.

However, things don’t go as far as some other action movies, and you can tell either style wasn’t affordable or wasn’t the aim here.

Michael Jai White

Michael Jai White is 55 years old and looks like he is in his 30s. On top of that, he doesn’t just have the look of someone who can whip ass, when you watch him fight, hold a gun, or whoop anyone’s ass, all you are left with is asking why we don’t see more of him? Well, beyond movies like this which usually fly under the radar unless you are a fan of video on-demand releases.

On The Fence

This Is An Action Movie Focused Far More On The Action Than The Story & Creating A Sense of Character Depth

“As Good As Dead” gives you a very simple storyline to allow for action scenes. As noted, Bryant is a former cop in hiding with notable combat skills. Oscar is the little brother of a gang leader who wants no part of that life and thus is treated as if he thinks he is too good for L-17, which leads to harassment. Oscar shows off what Bryant teaches him, it gets on the internet, and because Bryant’s fighting style is so unique, people track him down, and that puts Oscar’s life in danger.

That is the gist of the movie, and it doesn’t dive into what happened to Oscar’s parents, doesn’t pursue the emotional depth of Bryant having to leave his wife, or the various betrayals that caused him to leave – none of that. It is a movie with a storyline to set up action sequences. Plain and simple.

Who Is This For?

Action movie fans who want to see a Black lead, Michael Jai White, in particular, kick ass with his hands, guns, crossbow, whatever he can get his hands on.

Movie Title Card
As Good As Dead (2022) – Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)
Overall
Something about “As Good As Dead” makes it likable. Probably it is Michael Jai White, who you’ll feel deserves better, for he still has the physique and intensity of a big-time action hero. Yet, here he is, in a film that suffers more so due to a lack of budget and character development than anything else.
Community Rating0 Votes
0
Highlights
Decent Action Sequences
Michael Jai White
Disputable
This Is An Action Movie Focused Far More On The Action Than The Story & Creating A Sense of Character Depth
78

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