He Never Died (2015)
Bullets. Blood. Bingo.
With a name like that, you'd almost expect a Christ-splotation film out of this one. For those of us not really biblical-inclined however, It's probably much appreciated that this one is in fact not. Well, I mean, there's a little bit of bible in it, but it's largely a movie that just so happens to have a little in there, as opposed to something to super heavily focuses on the bible and has a little movie in it it. I mean, that tagline of bullets, blood, bingo really sums up a good part of this one. Still, with that description it's already sounding like a draw, but did this little angel find it's stride or fly too close to the sun?
Acting here is on point, and hence it's getting placed front and center. Although the main is rather, well, pretty silent as far as things go - short and to the point sentences, and you neigh get a paragraph before the final act out of him - there's a good deal of on screen presence going on here. This extends outwards to the waitress as well, who reacts in the most reasonable ways in the final act, but also adds a nice touch of human to the earlier ones. The daughter does a good job of being very chatty, and is acted well in that regard to create a nice banter of sorts between her and the main - even if the main is still relatively untalkative. The baddies? A good portion of them do a wonderful job too, although at times they can come off a little bit slapstick due to some of the scenes they are in.
The humor is there - I mean, I laughed a few times - but it is gonna be a certain breed I feel to appreciate it in the movie that surrounds it. Most the movie is kinda dark - both in a figurative sense and in a lighting sense (although not a "bad" dark like AvP:R) - so when you get these more humorous parts they can sometimes feel out of place. Granted, this isn't to say that they don't fit the scene, just that any kind of levity comes a little out of nowhere - even if it is mace to face or nut punches. That said, it is a nice addition regardless, as it does bring a bit of sunny side to the general darkness surrounding the main character. The entire act after the daughter is introduced surrounding the daughter is mostly good natured fun whilst most those dark undertones are somewhat swept into the background.
Those dark undertones are largely where the less drama oriented folks will have a blast - as they usually lead to some form of altercation or fight. The body count does rise throughout the movie, but it's maybe not quite as drastic as an 80's action flick. What it does do is give the effects department plenty of time to shine. Bullet, stab, and other wounds crop up all over the place - mainly on the main character, but also a few baddies - for them to strut their stuff. The old scars on the main - including the "fallen angel" wings scars - look good, and certainly the more recent ones hold up nicely (and even pop up in some humorous conversation, such a as a few head wounds). The costume department isn't anything too outrageous, considering it's mostly all just modern attire of sorts, but it is still well handled.
The plot is interesting to some degree - mainly as you try to figure out just who this guy is, or why these thugs keep showing up. It in itself isn't anything incredibly deep and thought provoking per se, but it flows nicely and allows for interest to be maintained even during the slower moments. Although there is some bible in there, it really doesn't come up until briefly at the end and certainly doesn't make the movie feel preachy at all - which will be beneficial to most. Of all the beats in the plot however, I feel the main villains logic might have been the worst - considering a line he says establishes knowing how out of his league the main character is, generating his wrath seems like an all around bad idea to begin with. It could be nitpicking, sure, but it's also largely an on the fly thing (his plan that is) so it makes it feel even less thought out when the explanation comes. It does give a purpose to the final act, but most the acts before that can actually play out pretty well by themselves without a "villainous mastermind" running the train.
It also becomes rather apparent that there's no reason to worry for the main character in a physical sense as the movie goes on, which means the only tension you get to feel is largely for the side characters and if they'll be okay (such as the daughter and waitress). There is still a mental aspect for the main - as it certainly starts to feel like he might be going crazy or something - but it's just not there in regards to him being in danger so to speak. It plays out the drama a bit better in that regard, as the mental danger becomes more threatening than a physical one, but it can lead to a bit of detachment to a character that's already pretty easy to not be attached too.
Sound is fine across the board, letting you hear lines fine while sound effects or other audio cues pop in. The soundtrack - at least while the movie is going - isn't necessarily anything that sticks to you for later repeat, but it does it's job while it's there. Actor line deliveries can be anything from serious to joking as they are called for, but the comedy beats also land where they need to.
Overall, it's a pretty enjoyable movie. I might not come back to it often - as it does have a slightly slower pace at times than I'd necessarily care for in a time-killer - but it was interesting enough to watch the once. Acting is good, camerawork is nice (not an overabundance of cutting), the audio is balanced well, and it's a nice take on a tale that's been around for a while in one way or another. At the time of writing this, it's even available on Netflix via streaming (for those who have that option).