“Blowback” is a satisfactory thriller film that does entertain you, at least in bits and pieces. The film follows Nick (Cam Gigandet), whose teammates betray him after a bank robbery, and therefore, Nick swears to take revenge and do whatever it takes to get the money back so that his daughter can undergo critical surgery. The film has generic action with bits and pieces of thrill. It has its flaws but seems to have deliberately overlooked them to avoid even a little more in-depth analysis of the plot. And this is what makes the events in “Blowback” predictable to the point of not mattering.
‘Blowback’ Plot Summary
Nick (Cam Gigandet) needs a lot of money for his daughter Emma’s (Melissa Diaz) procedure. For this, he plans a robbery along with his teammates Jack (Randy Couture), Willis (Ryan M. Shaw), Jerry (Rafael Cabrera), Sullivan aka Sully (Chris Mahen), Veronica (Randy Couture), and the tech guy Xander (Benjamin Abiola). While the former six will be inside the bank, Xander will be looking after the security detail and the CCTV cameras. Nick tells his team that they can have all the money from the lockers, but there is a case in one particular locker that he will take. This is what raises suspicion among the others who want to know what’s in the case. After the smooth heist, while Jack and Veronica escape in one car, Jerry shoots Nick, takes his case, and escapes in another car with Willis and Sully. Nick is left on the ground, seriously injured.
Realizing that he has to get the money back anyhow for his daughter, he reaches out to the man whose money they stole in the first place, Mr. Valenti (Gabriel Burrafato). At first, Valenti is full of doubts but then agrees to his deal after realizing that he can have more than what he could lose; his case as well as the insurance money. What follows is Nick’s chase to hunt his peers one at a time with the assistance of Valenti’s personal “butcher,” Pete (Ego Mikitas). Meanwhile, the cops are also tracking the case and searching for the robbers. At the end of the film, it is Nick who remains alive along with Pete. Pete takes the case, and Nick is given his money for his daughter’s procedure. The film ends with Nick and Emma driving away in their car to a different place.
The Father-Daughter Dynamic
Emma is in dire need of a medical procedure that will be life-saving for her. Nick needs to get the money for it as soon as possible. However, despite Nick’s affection for his daughter, Emma’s hatred for her father stems from the fact that he left her mother, and she thinks that he will leave her too. But we cannot disregard the possibility that Emma’s expectations are partly due to her helplessness in her present state. She knows that it is not up to her father to save her. However, in the absence of any other window to vent her rage, pain, and disgust that arises from sheer helplessness, she subconsciously vents it out on her father, especially since she has a reason to do so.
On the other hand, Nick is ready to move mountains or die trying for the sake of his daughter Emma. He has accepted his fault for having left her mother (his wife), but we do not know where she is now. But that doesn’t concern him. All he wants is for his child to get better. It is his love for his daughter that makes him go and get his money back, despite getting shot and wounded. He knows the risks and puts his life on the line anyways. And ultimately, he is able to get the money, and Emma undergoes the procedure.
But the question is, does it bring an end to the odds in their relationship? Although we do not need to address this father-daughter dynamic, the fact remains that Emma’s hatred, or rather an emotional distance from her father, roots not only from the fact that he left her mother but also from the nature of the work he does. When Nick visits her the second time after getting shot, Emma asks him why he is dressed in a patient’s attire, but then says, “Don’t tell me.” I don’t want to know.” This probably means that she knows what her father does for a living or has a reputation for. It might as well be the reason why her mother left. So will all this go away now that Emma is cured? We hope so, as it will help them both come out of their past.
The Creed of Greed
The whole intent of “Blowback” is to show how Nick “blows back” at his team for backstabbing him on their mission. But it is not because they have some vendetta against him. It is out of greed. He was just the first victim of them all because the others wanted to know what he had inside the case and raised the suspicion that he would take away the larger cut. Greed, along with the fact that none of them know anything about each other, is what makes them think that Nick will get a larger cut out of the mission, and, thus, they go after him first.
Oftentimes, the presence of trust among people who work together to achieve such ends, as seen in “Blowback,” is very much evident. Everyone trusts everyone else as much as, if not more than, their family members. That is what keeps the business going. In “Blowback,” too, it is clear the bank robbery is not the first job that Nick and his team pull off. They had had jobs earlier as well, including the one for which Nick had to do time in prison. But that this team is new and pretty much amateur is clear by how they behave with each other. There is no sense of respect, and “keeping your word” isn’t something they abide by. Jack, Willis, Jerry, and Sully are all merely robbers working for money. And it is this that sets the blueprint for double-crossing.
One Life or Two?
Nick wanted the money for his daughter’s treatment. Everything was going well, and even the robbery was carried out smoothly. The time was at hand for Nick to get himself and his daughter away for good when he was shot by Jerry. After waking up in the hospital, Nick realizes that he has to get back the money in any way he can because that is his only way out. Or else either the police will get him, or the person whose money he stole will kill him, Mr. Valenti. So recovering the money will not just save his daughter’s life, but his own too.
Here, there is another question. Is there revenge involved in Nick’s actions? There probably is. But again, the revenge sprouts from Nick not being allowed to get the money for his daughter’s procedure. But that can’t be it. Some of the revenge also results from the backstabbing, or at least it should. It was Nick’s plan, after all, to let the remaining members of the team have the money while he would only have the case. But that was not to be. Perhaps it is this revenge that makes him reach out to Valenti as he could not afford to lose his only chance to get his money back. He knew that he needed assistance from someone, and the only person who could help him was the one desperate to get his money back, i.e., Valenti.
‘Blowback’ Ending Explained: Is Nick Out Of Danger?
At the end of the film, all of Nick’s peers are dead, including Veronica, his ex-girlfriend. We do not know if she is the reason why Nick’s wife left him or whether he met Veronica afterward. It seems that Nick is out of danger at the end of the film, as he and Emma are in their car, riding away to a different city towards a new beginning. In “Blowback,” Nick is the only character in his team who lives by a code. He did his bit for Valenti, and Valenti, who is also clearly another guy who lives by a code, gave him the money for his daughter’s procedure. Ultimately, it is good to see father and daughter leave the city and go somewhere else. Nick will probably retire from robbery and look for a new job, and better opportunities for Emma.
“Blowback” is a 2022 Action Thriller film directed by Tibor Takács.