In “The Collective,” a gripping new film directed by Tom DeNucci and written by Jason James and Matthew Rogers, a skilled group of ethical assassins operates under the guidance of Liam (Don Johnson), aiming to bring down those who remain beyond the reach of justice.
The story follows Sam (Lucas Till), who undergoes a challenging test to join The Collective, proving his mettle in a paintball simulation. Despite his skills, he finds himself stuck in a desk job, deciding which contracts the agency should accept, a role he isn’t content with.
Sam’s opportunity to prove himself arrives when he takes on the case of Miro Lindell (Paul Ben-Victor), a wealthy human trafficker protected by formidable enforcers, Daisy (Ruby Rose) and Nikita (Mercedes Varnado). As the plot unfolds, Sam collaborates with another Collective assassin, Hugo (Tyrese Gibson), who offers a different approach to their missions.
While the film adheres to the familiar formula of a DTV (direct-to-video) thriller, “The Collective” manages to get the formula right. The action sequences keep the pace engaging, though one scene with endless adversaries pouring through a door feels overdone.
Unlike some thrillers, the film doesn’t fall into the trap of having a bland villain. Paul Ben-Victor brings depth to his character, making him hateable yet intriguing with quirky traits, such as singing to a captive victim. However, some of the protagonists, like Sam with his lawyer-turned-assassin backstory, could benefit from more development.
In essence, “The Collective” is a solid thriller that doesn’t venture into groundbreaking territory but delivers the action and excitement viewers seek. Unlike other controversial films on similar topics, it avoids any claims of being based on true events, allowing audiences to enjoy it without reservation.