Final Score (2018)


Introduction

Final Score is a 2018 British-American action thriller film directed by Scott Mann and written by David T. Lynch and Keith Lynch, starring Dave Bautista (who previously worked with Mann in Heist), Ray Stevenson and Pierce Brosnan.

After deadly terrorists abduct his niece at a soccer match, an ex-soldier with lethal fighting skills wages a one-man war to save her and prevent mass destruction.

Outline

Brothers Dimitri and Arkady Belav have led the revolution in the Russian state of Sakovya for independence. The revolution ultimately leads to Dimitri being killed in an airstrike and Arkady being captured, ending the revolution. After several years, Arkady and his men believe that Dimitri has faked his death, so they torture a man for information on where Dimitri is hiding in London.

Meanwhile, in London, former US military soldier Michael Knox visits his late best friend’s house to attend a football (soccer) game with his niece, Danni. He had previously served in Afghanistan in an attack team alongside his best friend (who he explains “was like a brother”) and was the only survivor of their last mission. Danni is grounded by her mother for delinquent behaviour, but Knox manages to fix the situation, and her mother gives her consent for Michael to take Danni to the football match.

Arriving at the West Ham stadium, Danni expresses her frustration about her dad’s death. Michael goes to get them both hot dogs, at which point Danni gets a text from a boy she fancies and decides to join him at his seat. Meanwhile, Arkady and his mercenaries covertly infiltrate the stadium, take over the control room and initiate a lockdown of the entire stadium. Taking Superintendent Steve Thompson hostage, Arkady threatens Thompson into cooperating with his team by threatening his family. Arkady then has his men blow up all transmission towers across the city to ensure that no communication will be made outside the stadium.

Discovering Danni is missing from her seat, Knox seeks help with the cheeky stadium guard Faisal Khan, an Iraqi immigrant. Faisal reluctantly assists Knox to the control room. On their way, they both run into one of Arkady’s men posing as a guard near the elevator, who ultimately attacks them, resulting in Michael killing him. Knox finds C-4 explosives in Andrei’s jacket. He then uses the only working walkie-talkie to call the police about the situation, but Chief Commander Daniel Steed does not believe him and hangs up. After he kills two other men, Vlad and Anton, Knox brings the latter’s body to a balcony and throws him down, smashing into concession stands and thereby summoning the police.

Seeing this, Arkady and the other mercenaries infiltrate the news studio and kill the crew. Arkady has a reporter read a statement at gunpoint, demanding Dimitri’s location, or they will blow up the stadium. As he finishes the statement, Arkady kills the reporter and two others on live television, which Danni’s mom sees and prompts her to leave for the stadium. Steed is approached by Agent Cho, who explains that Dimitri fled Russia undercover, underwent plastic surgery, and was given amnesty in London. Cho says that cannot meet the demands as handing Dimitri to Arkady will plunge the entire Russian region into chaos, endangering millions. Arkady’s team learns the background of Knox and Danni, and they decide to take Danni hostage. Hearing them summoning Danni over the speaker, Knox rescues her with help from Faisel.

Because Thompson’s team failed to capture Danni, Arkady executes him. Knox, Faisal, and Danni ultimately discover the C4 explosives planted below the control room, and Knox alerts Steed about it. Hoping to stop the situation, Knox decides to take Dimitri by himself. On his way, Knox encounters and fights Tatiana, ultimately escaping and finding Dimitri and agreeing with agents now circling in a helicopter to bring Dimitri to be safely taken away, but he stipulates Danni must go with them. But Tatiana takes Danni hostage and knocks Faisal unconscious.

Knox eliminates the other men before they get to the extraction point, but upon learning Danni is taken, Cho – who is under orders to ensure Dimitri stays dead – has his men shoot at Knox; however, the mercenaries fend off the helicopter. After they threaten Danni, Knox agrees to hand over Dimitri in exchange for her. Steed berates Cho for risking the lives of innocent people and takes control of the situation. A helicopter comes back and kills most of the other mercenaries, but Dimitri and Danni are captured. After Knox struggles with Tatiana, they both fall from a higher point in the stadium and she is fatally impaled by a pipe. Knox had managed to get and keep hold of the kill switch, but realises it is fake; before dying, Tatiana explains that the bomb will blow up 90 minutes into the match no matter what.

When Dimitri reunites with Arkady, Arkady vows to start the revolution again if Dimitri proves his loyalty by shooting Danni. But unwilling to let Arkady’s madness destroy the region with another revolution, Dimitri shoots himself. With just a few minutes left, Faisal is able to being evacuating the audience from the stadium in the area near the control room. Arkady takes control of the live broadcast holding onto Danni as Knox runs towards the control room from across the field, but he is too late and the bomb goes off, destroying the control room.

But as he starts to mourn, Knox looks more closely at the frozen big screen which was not destroyed and notices a time difference in two clocks, realizing that the live broadcast was pre-recorded 85 minutes into the match, and that both of them are probably alive. As the crowd stampedes towards exits, Knox hears Danni crying out and confronts Arkady. With a gun to her head, Knox tells Danni to “use her head” – she gets the hint and head butts Arkady, sending him briefly reeling and Knox kills him. Danni reunites with her worried mother who runs to her arms, and Steed thanks Knox for his bravery. Knox, Danni, her mother, and Faisel (who was near the blast but managed to survive as he rescued an older woman who he had argued with earlier) leave the stadium.

Cast

  • Dave Bautista as Michael Knox.
  • Pierce Brosnan as Dimitri Belav.
  • Ray Stevenson as Arkady Belav.
  • Alexandra Dinu as Tatiana.
  • Martyn Ford as Vlad Ivanov.
  • Lara Peake as Danni.
  • Amit Shah as Faisal Khan.
  • Lucy Gaskell as Rachel.
  • Ralph Brown as Chief Commander Steed.
  • Julian Cheung as Agent Cho.
  • Aaron McCusker as Captain Reynolds.
  • Bill Fellows as Superintendent Thompson.
  • Jonathan Pearce as himself.

Production

The film was first announced in February 2016, represented as “Die Hard in a football stadium,” written by The Lynch Brothers, to be produced by Signature Films and The Fyzz Facility, with Highland Films Group executive producing with a $20 Million budget, filmed at the Boleyn Ground, former home of West Ham United. In July 2016, Dave Bautista and Pierce Brosnan were announced to be headlining the cast, which also stars Julian Cheung, Russell Phillips and Alexandra Dinu, with director Scott Mann at the helm, scheduled to begin filming on 08 August 2016 at the stadium. Principal photography officially began on 15 August 2016.

Release

In June 2018, a teaser trailer was released by Sky Cinema, along with an announcement that the film would open in the UK and Ireland on 07 September 2018. The film released in cinemas and on the Sky Cinema subscription television service on the same day.

Trivia

  • Prior to an official viewing by the UK’s rating board, the BBFC, the filmmakers submitted a rough cut of the film to them.
  • They informed the company that the film would likely receive an ’18’ certificate for two moments of sadistic violence, showing a man being stabbed in the groin and another’s head forced into a deep fat fryer.
  • The film was formally classified ’15’ after reductions were made to these scenes.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Scott Mann.
  • Producer(s): Dave Bautista, Wayne Marc Godfrey, Marc Goldberg, Robert Jones, and Jonathan Meisner.
  • Writer(s): David T. Lynch, Keith Lunch, and Jonathan Frank.
  • Music: James Edward Barker and Tim Despic.
  • Cinematography: Emil Topuzov.
  • Editor(s): Robert Hall.
  • Production: Signature Films, The Fyzz Facility, Highland Film Group, Sky Cinema Original Films, and Saban Films.
  • Distributor(s): Altitude Film Distribution and Lionsgate.
  • Release Date: 07 September 2018.
  • Running time: 104 minutes.
  • Rating: 15/R.
  • Country: UK and US.
  • Language: English.

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