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Starring Angela Dixon, Nigel Whitmey, Heather Peace, Rami Nasr, Velibor Topic, Sarah Perles, Lisa Eichhorn. Directed by Howard J. Ford. (2015, 94 min). SONY

As the purveyor of this site, I'm often tasked with reviewing a lot of stuff I've never heard of, including a plethora of low budget, direct-to-video action films. In most cases, it turns out there's a good reason I haven't heard of them. But every now and then, one comes along where I find myself going, "Hey, this is actually pretty damn good." Never Let Go is one of those.

Angela Dixon is Lisa, the troubled mistress of a prominent - and married - politician, Clark Anderson (Nigel Whitmey). She's also the mother of his child. To escape for awhile, Lisa visits the Middle East (!), where her baby is promptly kidnapped. This is where the viewer learns Lisa is much more than Anderson's mistress. As a former part of his security staff, she's also a one-woman wrecking crew, unwilling to sit idly by while the bad guys get away with it. During her pursuit, she kills one of the kidnappers and is now wanted by police.

Angela Dixon...free with your Direct TV subscription.
Angela Dixon...free with your Direct TV subscription.

Other than raising the obvious question of why the hell a single woman would choose to vacation in the Middle East with a newborn baby, Never Let Go is surprisingly smart and engaging. There's action 'o plenty, with numerous close-quarter fight scenes that are well-executed on a low budget. And though it owes more than a passing nod to Taken, the film tells a suspenseful story in its own right. The performances are also above average for a movie like this. As Lisa, Dixon creates a believable female action hero, capable of kicking massive amounts of ass without once throwing on high-heels.

Never Let Go makes up for its lack of originality with violent intensity, an interesting main character and a story that doesn't insult the viewer's intelligence. It won't win any Oscars, but the film does its job quite well, making it a pleasant surprise for action fans.

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