Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe

Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe
Burn Notice is one of those shows that don't get the respect it deserves. Its no nonsense approach to action television makes it one of most enjoyable shows around, even if it has been reduced to being a punch line to a sketch on Saturday Night Live. Anybody who does watch it knows that while Michael Weston (Jeffrey Donovan) is the supposed star, it's the legendary Bruce Campbell, as retired Navy SEAL Sam Axe, who steals almost every scene he's in. And that's why he has been given his own feature-length movie. The Fall of Sam Axe tells the tale of what happened to Sam prior to his appearance on Burn Notice. Not surprisingly, it kicks off with him sleeping with the wrong woman (an admiral's wife) and as a result, he's sent to Columbia as punishment. Initially, his mission is to deal with the Flaming Sword, a terrorist group threatening a hospital, but very soon things take an unexpected turn, becoming difficult to tell who the good guys are. Cue lots of decent action scenes, some big explosions, a satisfying climax, plenty of inside jokes for devoted Burn Notice fans and this is an enjoyable, if mindless, way to spend 90 minutes. By the end of what is admittedly a fairly entertaining yarn, it becomes very apparent that no matter how much fun it is to watch Bruce Campbell do anything at all, Burn Notice works because it's an ensemble show that requires all three main characters to succeed. And this spin-off, with its rather weak supporting cast, isn't nearly as enjoyable as a result. It might expand the show's back-story, but not in a way that warrants further prequels. The obligatory commentary track featuring Campbell, Donovan and Burn Notice creator Matt Nix is a good one, if only for the fun repartee between the trio. The deleted scenes clock in at about one minute and are a complete waste of time. Somewhat better is faux documentary "The Fall of Jeffrey Donovan," which allegedly tells how the Burn Notice star went crazy in Columbia while directing the film. But the best of the bunch is the Burn Notice panel from the 2010 Comic-Con where, not surprisingly, Bruce Campbell steals the show. (Fox)