Though Hammer is a crime-thriller that goes through a paint-by-numbers plot, there’s nothing typical in the execution here.
Writer-director Christian Sparkes, best known for Newfoundland film Cast No Shadow, makes a thriller worth remembering with this drug-deal-gone-wrong drama.
It’s not the action in the script that keeps you holding on, though. The familial relationships and bonds explored in the film are more than enough to keep you riveted.
When wayward Chris tries to scam a drug dealer and the robbery goes awry, his estranged father spots him fleeing the scene, and follows him. His dad becomes wrapped up in the drama as he tries desperately to pull his son out of a situation of his own making.
You won’t be shocked or surprised by what happens here, but the performances themselves are absolutely stunning. Will Patton — one of the most dependable men in the industry — gives a convincing, plucky performance as a begrudging father ready to give it all to pull his son out of the mess he put himself in.
But it’s young Mark O’Brien, gaining traction with roles in Arrival, horror film Ready Or Not, and intense Showtime drama City On A Hill who holds this one together. Mark my words: O’Brien is going to be a star, and this is just further proof.
Hammer may not nail the proceedings home entirely, but it’s more than enough to entertain and impress for its slick 90-minute run-time.