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REVIEWS

  • Ken B Wild

Imprisoned aka Night Walk Review: Throw Away The Key

Updated: Apr 17

Dir: Aziz Tazi

Release Date: 2019


An innocent man behind bars seeks justice while also trying to just stay alive

There are many movies which deal with the innocent man thrown into prison and forced to toughen up to survive. Some are very good, some are not so good.


Tom Selleck even did one called An Innocent Man (1989) and I actually quite liked that one. He even slicked his hair back to show he had become hardened (classic move).


Most of these films follow the same sort of formula: Tries to mind own business, gangs try to provoke, other gangs try to recruit, a non affiliated but known inmate befriends him, guards pick on him due to corruption, and a final showdown.

Unfortunately, this particular film also throws in numerous religious and political messages which slow things right down.


I guess that lies in the marketing of the film seemingly aimed at action/thriller fans when it is quite a talky drama somewhat confused about which audience they are going for.


This is the directorial debut of Aziz Tazi (he also wrote it and has a cameo role) and he used the opportunity to make it a very personal film dealing with far more weightier subjects than the action/thriller crowd care about but the target audiences will probably remain unaware of.

We somehow have quite the cast:

Sean Stone as protagonist Frank

Patrick Kilpatrick as racist bully Prison Guard, Louis

Eric Roberts as unlikely Judge Wilson

Mickey Rourke as plastic Aryan Gang Leader, Gary

Louis Mandylor as the barely in it Prison Warden

Richard Tyson as John (?)


Fun Fact: Sean Stone is the son of Oliver Stone and has featured in several of his father's movies. Sadly, he is not strong enough to lead as I found out by watching this.


The film is very vague when it deals with locations as the first caption lays out, 'Somewhere in the Arab World', which I guess is to avoid upsetting people.


We open with a woman being chased through some sort of gardens and it ends with her being shot. With that gunshot, we are introduced to Frank being bullied by Louis as he is 'welcomed' to jail.


This jail is, 'Somewhere in California' and 'A few weeks later' and Louis is the bull headed guard played delightfully by Patrick Kilpatrick with the best performance of the entire film.

PKP, as I like to call him, was in the far superior prison based film, Death Warrant, with JCVD, as I like to call him, where he played The Sandman.


He was also in The Toxic Avenger where I believe he is killed by his own arm, Class of 1999, which is another beauty, Scanner Cop 2 and a host of other movies and TV shows.


Simply put, PKP has put in his classic B Movie time. Respect.


Frank is overly keen to meet people in jail and likes a chat which is actually contradictory to that first rule of most prison films where they like to keep their heads down.


He is eager to befriend Mickey Rourke who is clearly bad news and sitting doing nothing while the other inmates are at work. Rourke has some fun dialogue in his brief amount of screen time.


Mickey Rourke now appears to me like he is wearing a full latex suit of himself over his actual self. None of him looks real and it kind of freaks me out a little. I think he could be some sort of Terminator model

"Keep your mouth shut, your ass tight and do what you're told". He also threatens that if he goes against the Aryan gang, his contacts on the outside might make his pretty mom not look so good no more.


Fun Fact: Mickey Rourke is good friends with Oliver Stone so probably does know Sean Stone's actual mother, Elizabeth.


Frank's new cell mate is played by French Rapper Laouni Mouhid (aka The Weasel (?)) and is called Ayman, a non militant Muslim who decides to look out for Frank for no good reason.

Obviously Louis is very racist, which apparently stems from his time serving out in Iraq/Afghanistan where he got his leg blown off by a grenade. He is also in the pocket of Gary who supplies him with cash and cocaine when he smuggles it in for him.


We get some flashbacks to Frank before prison, meeting Sarah who speaks Arabic as she is "From the region" which again seems incredibly vague and she is so beautiful, Frank falls in love.


They have a date where they go to a restaurant which appeared to have been some big Asian guy doing karaoke but turned out to be a cameo from none other than Alston Koch, 'The Asian King of Pop'! Sarah and Frank celebrate by doing some shit dancing.


Back in prison, Ayman is telling Frank, he has warned off Gary's men and he can be protected by the Muslim group. Frank explains that "Sarah was killed by you people".


Ayman explains he is not affiliated with the extremist faction as he hates, "what they did to Islam", but he is a peaceful Muslim serving his time.


This non-affiliation means that Louis can mess with him like he doesn't the others as he has no sway on the outside.


Fun Fact: Laouni Mouhid is 6 feet 5 inches tall, took English lessons for this role and reduced his pay packet because he believed in the script and his character. Très bien.


At one point, Louis mocks a letter Ayman gets from his wife before ripping it to pieces, threatening to go and visit her and saying the oddest line of the film:

"I'll clean my pelvis before I fuck her!"


Meanwhile, in terms of the actual plot, it turns out that Frank was sent down by a corrupt Judge who was paid off to avoid a political incident between the USA and whichever Arab nation they are supposed to be in.

His reporter friend, Bobby, visits him to tell him what he's found out about this Judge. Firstly, the judge is Eric Roberts who is just as guilty for accepting payment to star in EVERY film he is offered. Roberts currently has 75 different projects either filming or in post production. 75 RIGHT NOW! He's a machine!


Apparently, the judge's wife is rich and powerful and launders money or some elaborate explanation and he is owned by her, conflict of interest and so on. Frank reasonably asks what that has to do with him. His friend answers, "I don't know", which made me laugh out loud.


On his way home, Frank's buddy is overtaken by a Biker, totally overreacts, steers off the road and flies off a cliff to his death. It's an amazing scene which also made me laugh. I'm gonna miss Bobby. He was totally useless.


We get more flashbacks of Frank and Sarah, the cultural differences they faced and overcame to be in a relationship, East vs West.


Think kind of like Rocky IV but far less engaging and much less Carl Weathers. We are also treated to a kind of TV tourism advertisement for the Middle East and I must admit, it looks lovely.

We get more talk of Ayman finding peace in his religion, accepting his fate and wanting to be a better man in the eyes of God.


Frank is told of his friend's 'accidental' death and he goes total schizoid nuthouse as he smashes the mirror in his cell and then just laughs maniacally until we thankfully cut to another scene.


Louis shuts down the Muslim prayer room on the orders of the warden. 55 minutes in and finally Louis Mandylor turns up for a scene. He still doesn't do much to be honest but at least he's finally on screen. Apparently, they use the prayer room to plot shit.

Frank has suddenly turned hardcore inmate and want the Islam Extremists to kill Judge Eric Roberts for crimes against film (only joking Mr Roberts). He goes through the 'America has lost its way' speech to try to get them to help him.


Saud, the leader, tells him to go and piss up a rope as they are not some cut price hitmen for hire. Frank retaliates by skulking off to his cell and trying to hang himself.

Leading us to several flashbacks.....


Back at the location of the opening scene, Frank is about to propose marriage to Sarah when 3 Arab cops arrive and demand to know what is going on. Amongst some anti-American subtitles, we discover a woman should not be out alone with a man who is not her husband and they are to be arrested.


Sarah tries to explain that they are innocently walking, then she tries to bribe them, then her contraceptive pills fall out of her purse and it all kicks off. They draw guns and Frank and Sarah run for it. We re-see the first shot being fired and cut back to prison.


The noose snaps and Frank is helped by Ayman who now tells us why he is in prison:

His son was the victim of a hit and run but Ayman found the man responsible and dished out a beating which led him to prison and to Islam.

Frank converts to Islam, starts learning Arabic and is approached by Saud to kill for them and become a Martyr. Escalates quickly, doesn't it?!


Louis and his unborn child (?) get threatened by Gary, Saud gets threatened by Louis, Frank reads the Koran and is told to plant a shiv blade in Ayman's bed so he is removed and the cell can be used for their nefarious plan.


Louis is very pleased to find the blade and sets out to interrogate Ayman using the old favourite of waterboarding . Ayman eventually tells him that this is all a diversion so they can escape.


Frank is saying prayers when Louis returns to the cell and, when he enters the door, a bottle smashes onto his head and Louis is set on fire. Ayman arrives and cover's Louis' head with a blanket.


Saud handcuffs Ayman to the bars and says nothing personal but he is too righteous to go with them and would blow their cover so he must stay and take the blame.

DOUBLE CROSS!


When Saud questions why Louis isn't dead from that fire, Ayman uncuffs himself and Saud is cuffed to bars by Frank.

DOUBLE DOUBLE CROSS! For good measure, Ayman punches Saud.


He then proves Saud right by refusing to escape from prison as he accepts he has committed his sins and must face his punishment in the eyes of God and the Law.


Frank dons Louis' clothes and motorcycle helmet and walks undetected through the prison. He finds a bag of cocaine in the pocket of the jacket and, as he is walking past the cell of Gary, he pours some all over the floor leading inside.


Not entirely sure why he does this as Gary is already in prison and running things so it's doubtful he is going to be reprimanded for this.

Fun Fact: Mickey Rourke filmed all of his scenes in 1 day and, as Frank pours cocaine on the floor, I swear that's not him asleep in his underpants on the bunk. Looks like the hollow shell of the Mickey Rourke suit or the cyborg has simply powered down. Weird.


Ayman is seen treating the burns of Louis and using soothing ointments which seems to suggest Louis will have a change of heart and is maybe even sorry for the ridiculous pelvis statement.


Frank has phoned his lawyer while escaping and he heads to find Judge Eric Roberts so he can explain what this film is supposed to be about.


Frank finds Eric Roberts surprisingly easily and holds him at gunpoint until he explains the plot to him and us in ridiculously self incriminating detail. The police are already surrounding the building and making a lovely laser pattern on his chest.

Clever old Frank shows greedy old Eric Roberts he has been confessing live over the phone to the lawyer and some cop (nobody is recording it though so unsure of how watertight this would be as evidence).


"Sonofabitch", offers Eric Roberts, which is a line I always enjoy in films.


Turns out that Eric Roberts has ALSO converted to Islam as it was a good vote winner with his re-election campaign. What are the chances?!


The police storm the building and take Judge Eric Roberts away on the say so of some lawyer they've just met who heard a phone call about something.


This turns out to be totally irrelevant as Frank commits suicide by cops and is shot dead. His lawyer cries for some reason as he lies dying.

"I'll be with her soon...", he offers before a last flashback and death.


Sarah is lying shot in Frank's arms, the cops are plotting to frame Frank for the shooting and Frank is finally proposing to Sarah. SHE SAYS YES!!!


"I want to spend the rest of my life with you", she also says which she then proves by dying immediately. The cops arrest Frank.


We end with Frank getting a Muslim burial and Ayman being released from prison. He turns up in Casablanca, Morocco and heads to a beautiful looking Mosque which I presume they correctly captioned due to it being quite recognisable.


Fun Fact: This is the Hassan II Mosque, the 2nd largest functioning Mosque in Africa and the 7th largest in the World.


THE END


And so.........

Who is this film's target audience?

How is Louis expecting a baby when he is played by 70yr old Patrick Kilpatrick?

What the Hell happened to Mickey Rourke? Yeah, I know, Everything!

Has Eric Roberts ever turned down a film role?

Why did Bobby drive off a cliff with no real provocation?

How did Sean Stone get to play leading man in a film?

Is Alston Koch really the Asian King of Pop or the King of Asian Pop?

How often does Louis clean his pelvis if he's not planning on raping wives of inmates?

Is Mickey Rourke more machine now than man?


The movie is currently available on Amazon Prime.


FAVOURITE CHARACTER:

Louis played by Patrick Kilpatrick. Unnecessarily racist at all times and a massively disrespectful bully. Until he speaks with Gary who bullies him and he becomes quite pathetic. You see this cycle of bullying? Anger transferal?


FAVOURITE MOMENT:

Bobby taking us through a story about money laundering and corruption involving the Judge's wife and her business interests, including flashy scenes of her generally being rich, and then, when asked what that had to do with Frank being in prison, his reply simply being, "I don't know". Cool story, brah!


FAVOURITE LINE:

It was almost the pelvis line but here's Gary telling Frank what he has to do if he wants to join up with his Neo-Nazi Aryan prison gang:

Gary: "First of all I want you to do me a favour, you hold onto this and stick this up your ass and keep it there until I need it"

It's drugs people. Nothing else.


FAVOURITE DEATH:

Bobby driving headlong off a cliff after he was overtaken by a Biker. Yes, the Biker did intend him harm but he really did nothing to alert Bobby to that fact.