Review: Boss Level offers a witty, bloody take on the time loop trope

Frank Grillo is stuck in a time loop in which he is being hunted by dozens of assassins in Boss Level.

A man is stuck in a time loop and doomed to repeat the same day over and over again, all while being hunted by a group of deadly assassins, in Boss Level. We’ve been deluged with time loop-centric fare the last few years, with Happy Death Day (2017), Happy Death Day 2U (2019), Russian Doll (2019), and Palm Springs (2020) representing the best of the recent offerings. Add Boss Level to that list, not because it’s particularly deep, or because it boasts an innovative new twist, but because everyone on-screen is clearly having a blast and their enthusiasm is contagious, making this film just plain fun to watch—and ultimately that’s what entertainment is all about.

(Some spoilers below, but no major reveals.)

Director Joe Carnahan (The Blacklist, The Grey) started working on a script for a film with the working title, Continueback in 2012. He envisioned making “Groundhog Day as an action movie,” but the project apparently foundered at 20th Century Fox. Later that year, he posted footage from screen tests with eventual star Frank Grillo—who had worked with Carnahan on 2011’s The Grey—”to show you how cool this movie could have been.” (Carnahan deleted his Twitter account in 2019 after attacking multiple critics who gave his film, El Chicano, mixed reviews, and receiving considerable blowback for doing. His account is currently listed as “suspended.”) Fortunately, the project was revived in 2017, and Hulu snatched up the distribution rights last year.

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