SUNDANCE REVIEW – “892
892 follows the real-life story of former U.S. Marine veteran Brian Easley. The film begins with him desperate and estranged from his wife and daughter in a cheap motel in Atlanta. Out of pure desperation, Brian is driven to a Wells Fargo where he goes up to the bank teller and reveals to her that he has a bomb on his body and will detonate it unless the VA gives him the financial compensation that he’s entitled to. Throughout the film, he’s asked why doesn’t he just steal the banks money – but no! He insists that he only wants the money from the VA.
John Boyega gives an absolutely tremendous performance here. It’s a performance that is truly transformative and heartbreaking at times. He balances a very stoic intensity matched with mental anguish from his traumas beautifully. A lot of the film rides off of Boyega’s performance, as he’s our main focal point to the story and so much takes places in real-time at the bank. He helps the film move at a really solid paced, but without losing sight of the heart of the story. It should also be mention that this is Michael K Williams final performance, and that he’s genuinely fantastic in the role.
Director Abi Damaris Corbin does a great job at continually building suspense throughout the film, but she certainly doesn’t lose sight on the themes in the midst of everything else going on. She does a tremendous job at juggling both empathy and tension so that you feel conflicting emotions at every given moment. This not only makes for a genuinely enthralling and stressful film, but it makes for a damn-near perfect telling of this story in a way that I think only John Boyega could’ve accomplished as an actor.