Stratton is a sort of odd film in that it aims to be an action thriller and it somewhat just falls apart. The story follows a British special boat service commando as he attempts to deal with a terrorist threat. It's not exactly the backdrop one would expect for a film like this and apparently it's some long running branch in the service. Whatever the case, it takes on a spy type theme as the core group that surrounds Stratton (Dominic Cooper) works against the potential threat on an alright scale. It has all the locations one would expect in regards to giving a global vibe and presents them in an decent way. Some parts with that aspect work well wheras others felt cheapened since the budget obviously wasn't there.
The story in general doesn't flow too well and they're just moving from place to place getting small bits of information on what's going on. It didn't feel very cohesive and while some of the action was entertaining, much of it felt low in budget. The more intense action scenes had a nice sense of visceral combat, yet these were cheapened by obvious cuts and other issues with how it was presented. Some parts like this really stuck out and took away from the immersion. Aspects of the story just somewhat appeared and nothing in this was particularly interesting. I also had an issue with the lead's boss being very out of it, seemed like she was purely reading lines.
Another large issue I had with the plot was that it was mostly predictable and borderline generic. New members appeared, others vanished and I just wasn't into it while I was viewing it. The acting was stiff for the most part and while I do like plots of a smaller scale this one still didn't feel intense. The ending sort of plot was really laughable quite honestly and while I won't spoil anything it would be the easiest threat to deal with. I will say once again that the scenery was well varied though quick in its jumps not taking the time to properly develop the locations. It follows a chat and then jump to mission flow with that not working too well.
Stratton fails in a number of places and while the origins for the character are strange, I'm not sure that's the problem. Any sort of spy thriller should be laced with excitement or action that keeps the pace going. There's a weird mix of sorrows in how the core character responds to an initial failure and the individuals around the lead just weren't great. The acting wasn't there and when the actions scenes come across as low quality there needs to be someone that can pick up the scenes, that just isn't present in the film. Despite picking something of a low stakes the plot still reaches too far and doesn't deliver.
Stratton Review at Home with Streamed Viewing
Screening Provided by Katrina Wan PR