Anyways, welcome back to this month’s edition of “Cigars in Cinema”. I love most genres of movies. My favorite being horror and either tied with that or a close second would be action. I love them all. The classics, big budget, low budget, all of them. And for this month I decided to write about a somewhat hidden gem; “Boss Level”. Released in 2020, this movie stars the awesome Frank Grillo. You might recognize him from a couple of the purge movies and he is even in the Marvel cinematic universe as Brock Rumlow. Boss Level also stars Naomi Watts, Ken Jeong and remember Will Sasso from Mad TV? Yep, he is in there too. Last but not least it also stars Mel Gibson and that’s where the cigar comes in to play, we will get to that later.
The best and easiest way for me to explain this movie is this. Think of the movie Groundhog Day (1993 starring Bill Murray) if it were an action movie. Frank Grillo plays Roy Pulver, a retired special forces badass stuck in a time loop repeating the same day over and over until he can figure out why and how. That’s about as much as I can say without giving too much away. Is it over the top? Absolutely. To be fair I would say most action movies are. Some awesome action, good stunts, good performances and special effects lead me to give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. I get it, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I like this movie and if you are in the mood for a fun, over the top action flick with at least a halfway decent story, I suggest you give this one a shot.
Let’s dig in to the cigar aspect of this film. I mentioned earlier that Mel Gibson is in this movie. If you know Mel Gibson you would know he is a cigar aficionado in real life and that spills over in to some of his films, including his role in this movie. The first cigar sighting in this movie is about 8 minutes in. The Colonel (Mel Gibson) is smoking a stogie while talking on the phone. Then throughout the movie I can only recall maybe twice that we see the Colonel WITHOUT a cigar. Cigar in film is oftentimes a sign of power and wealth (which you will find out the colonels role) not only for villains but some heroes too. In this case the cigar also shows how menacing the Colonel is, many times with a cloud of cigar smoke billowing around him, sort of like Max Cady whom I referenced in an earlier article on Cape Fear (1991). Enjoy this fun shoot em’ up!