Bringing in Ruby Rose (Batwoman_tv, Orange is the New Black) and Jean Reno (Mission: Impossible, Godzilla), The Doorman is basically a low-budget female version of Die Hard. Featuring a lone warrior taking on a group of criminals in a tower building. It blends several tropes we’ve seen before: a short-haired woman who can look after herself, family angst and meaningless culture talk from the gang leaders.
After her service in the military, Gunnery Sergeant Ali Gorski (Ruby Rose) is battling PTSD. Her Uncle Pat (Philip Whitchurch) gets her a job as the doorman of an apartment building that is undergoing renovations.
She soon finds out that the residents are being held hostage by art thieves led by Borz (Hennie) and Victor Dubois (Reno). Now, she must use her military training to save them all in this makeshift Die Hard rip-off, which doesn’t present anything too new but works well with its stylized action and lead actress. It’s a welcome return to the big screen for Rose, who deserved better after stepping down from CW’s Batwoman series.
After her tour of duty ends in a deadly ambush in Romania, ex-Marine Ali Gorsky (Ruby Rose) takes on a new job with her uncle (Aksel Hennie) as the doorman at his swanky Manhattan apartment building. She soon discovers her estranged niece and nephew live in the building, and that her co-doorman is a dastardly bad guy.
The Doorman offers up a few twists and turns, but mostly it’s just a collection of cliches. Aksel Hennie is decent as the villain, but Rose doesn’t deliver any depth to her character. This throwback repelisplus action movie owes a lot to Die Hard, and includes nearly every genre trope imaginable.
Victor Dubois (Reno)
After a failed military protection assignment goes awry, ex-marine Ali (Ruby Rose) finds stability in New York City with a job as the doorman at an empty apartment building undergoing renovations. She doesn’t anticipate that it is harboring a group of criminals led by the art expert Victor Dubois (Jean Reno) planning a heist during Easter.
Director Ryuhei Kitamura (Midnight Meat Train, Downrange) is adept at tight, character-driven thrillers, but he’s missed the mark with this shameless low-rent Die Hard knockoff. Reno tries to mirror Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber, but his performance is laughable. Aksel Hennie is a solid foil as Borz, the lead doorman.
Jon Stanton (Evans)
Director Ryuhei Kitamura (Midnight Meat Train, Downrange) is no stranger to action films, but this rote affair fails to elevate his well-trodden formula. Ruby Rose (John Wick 2, The Meg) shows she has the chops to be a solid leading action heroine, but a lackluster plot and dull fight scenes sink this ship.
Gunnery Sergeant Ali Gorski (Ruby Rose) returns to New York City with PTSD after an ambush on a US Embassy convoy in Bucharest. Her uncle Pat gets her a job at the luxury high-rise where he works as a doorman, but it soon becomes apparent that her late sister’s husband and children live there too.
Despite the many action movie tropes and cliches on display, The Doorman is a fairly entertaining flick. It moves along at a fast pace with few lulls and the action sequences are competently if not particularly stylishly executed.
The main problem is the script, which combines cliched plot elements with lame dialogue and ham-fisted characteristics. Ruby Rose makes the most of her starring role, although she is limited by the material to do much more than snarl at bad guys and whimper about her PTSD.
The best performance comes from Jean Reno as the villainous Dubois. He has a great screen presence and chews up the scenery with relish. Kila Lord Cassidy and Julian Feder as Ali’s niece and nephew also show some range, making the characters less grating than they might have been.
A former soldier takes a low-level job as a building doorman to get her feet back on the ground and reconnect with family — but she soon finds herself using all of her military skills to protect them from criminals who hold them hostage. Ruby Rose, who recently exited the CW’s Batwoman after a single season, proves she has the chops to carry this kind of action movie, and she is supported by capable performances from Jean Reno and Rupert Evans.
It’s a simple plot, but it works because director Ryuhei Kitamura keeps his focus on the action and keeps the characters relatively free of pretensions. The only thing missing is a dose of wit that could have saved this Die Hard rip-off from dreary oblivion.