— March 4, 2021
Joe Carnahan made his directorial debut with the 1998 comedy crime thriller Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane, which instantly put him on the action map. He followed that up with the 2002 hit Narc and never looked back. The filmmaker has since made such hits as Smokin’ Aces, The A-Team, Laim Neeson’s The Grey, and Stretch. Boss Level arrives as his first feature film since 2014. And it was worth the wait.
For Boss Level, Carnahan teams up with leading man Frank Grillo for a fast-paced action mystery thrill-ride that finds a retired special forces officer trapped in a never ending time loop on the day of his death. Boss Level was one of the final movies to play at famed Hollywood theater The Arc Light before it shuttered its doors due to the pandemic. It was screened for select audience members before it found distribution with Hulu. Paulington James Christensen III chats with Joe Carnahan about that night, and how exciting it was to see all the action play out on the big screen.
They also discuss Frank Grillo’s comedy chops, suggesting that maybe he should be the lead in the upcoming Naked Gun reboot. Frank plays Roy Pulver, a retired special forces soldier, in Boss Level, and while he is first and foremost a man of intense action, the movie allows for quite a few very funny moments, and as Carnahan describes it, Boss Level is also very much a relationship drama at its core.
As Grillo’s Pulver gets stuck in a time loop on the day of his death he’s forced to battle various assassins while also trying to figure out what’s going on. The film also stars Mel Gibson, Naomi Watts, Michelle Yeoh, Annabelle Wallis, Ken Jeong and former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Next up for Joe Carnahan this year is his action-thriller Copshop, which he directs and penned alongside  Kurt McLeod. Gerard Butler and Frank Grillo star in the movie about a small-town police station that becomes the unlikely battleground between a professional hitman (Butler), a smart rookie female cop, and a double-crossing con man (Grillo) who seeks refuge behind bars with no place left to run. COPSHOP has wrapped filming and was shot during the COVID-19 pandemic. Joe Carnahan also opened up about his action thriller in anticipation of Boss Level premiering this weekend.
Joe Carnahan Talks Boss Level, Time Loops & the Genius of Frank Grillo [Exclusive]