He is a Master of the Universe and has a Master’s Degree in chemical engineering. He was a Punisher and an Expendable. He’s worked with John Woo, Craig Baxley, Isaac Florentine and John Hyams, fought James Bond, Skeletor, Rocky and Johnny Mnemonic. He wants you to meet your Maximum Potential. He is Dolph Lundgren.
On the surface the movie is pretty harmless. We’ve all seen the overblown communist threat action movies of the ’80s, and this isn’t as over the top as RED DAWN or something. But the movie’s subject matter is another example of short sighted foreign policy, obsessing over one bad guy so much that we end up supporting a different bad guy that will later come bite us on the ass.
Speaking of weapons, I don’t understand where Punisher gets his. He has these skull knives he always throws, and he never re-uses them. Just throws them at a guy and leaves them on the scene. These are nice knives, custom-made, and he goes through them like toilet paper. Not to mention all the guns and bullets he uses.
Although the movie is completely worthwhile for its whole weird sci-fi/action combo, I didn’t think the stunts were as great as the ones in ACTION JACKSON and STONE COLD. Instead they seem to focus on coming up with interesting special effects like the bouncing CD, a guy glowing from inside and exploding, etc.
This is a fun movie and as an added bonus it’s only 79 minutes long. I mean I like a good long movie but you gotta respect a good short one too. It just gets in there, does what needs to be done, and then gets out. Like a ninja. No time for fucking around. No time to stop and get a bottle of water out of the refrigerator like Steven Seagal in BELLY OF THE BEAST.
I would say the Universal Soldier program is a failure, not just because two of them went rogue but because it was a stupid idea in the first place. These scientists don’t consider the moral and spiritual implications of bringing people back from the dead not because they’re bastards but because they’re too stupid to even understand that’s what they’re doing.
I would not say that ARMY OF ONE reaches the level of STONE COLD when it comes to stunt coordinators dolloping awesomeness onto a ridiculous action movie starring a big brute with blond hair. But it’s in a similar category of silly action with some clever ideas and some impressive, violent action scenes.
This is a pretty cool action premise, because as it explains in text at the beginning the pentathlon was designed to use the skills that a soldier needs. So of course in battling Müller and his men Eric ends up using his running, his shooting and his sword skills. I don’t think he swims or rides a horse though, which is wasted potential, but otherwise this is a very satisfying movie.
I like Dolph in the movie, as always, and there are some other good people in the cast too. Along with Tiny “Zeus” Lister you also got Tom Wright (Charles, the Jamaican cop from MARKED FOR DEATH), and the great bad-guy actor Kevin Tighe plays Dolph’s mentor. And Goddard is kind of hilarious as the over-the-top villain who seems to take everything way too personally.
I hoped this would be one of the better Dolph Lundgren vehicles, because it’s directed by Russell Mulcahy, who used to be so good. This was ’96, his next movie after ’94”²s THE SHADOW. I guess this is his punishment, but THE SHADOW is more fun. SILENT TRIGGER is at least watchable, but so are other things that are actually good.
The great thing about watching BLACKJACK now is that it’s just become ripe. Because back in 1998 when it was made, there was still that naive hope that John Woo had great things ahead of him. He had just done FACE/OFF which seemed to prove he could fuse the strengths of his Hong Kong movies with the Hollywood method of filmatism.
Although there are no dragons or even bridges this is kind of a fantasy film. It takes place “somewhere between the future and the past” (wouldn’t that be the present? I’m confused) so Dolph uses modern military gear and there are helicopters but most people dress medeival and use swords and horses and there are princesses and shit.
Despite what you’d expect from a movie directed by Dolph Lundgren and starring Jerry Springer as the president, this is not really a funny or goofy movie. It’s a straight forward, competent low budget action movie is all. The action is mostly just gunfire, nothing too exciting.
The action is okay, not great. He throws a baseball bat at a guy, shoots up a truck and a bar, announces that he’s going to break a man’s nose with his knee before he does it, etc. I like the part where he makes a western style hangman’s noose on a fire escape.
This is definitely a decent and watchable DTV, but I prefer more flair. More rats eating bloody puke, more mid-air body explosions. The only other thing that seemed very unique to me is an irony in the story involving Helsinki Syndrome. In the beginning the CIA prick warns that the girl may have developed feelings for her kidnappers, and that’s a lie because she hasn’t really been kidnapped.
I’m glad it’s not some spoof or something, but this movie could’ve benefited from embracing the absurdity of the concept more. I know it’s a fine line to walk, and it’s gotta be hard to put yourself out there in this world so full of condescending ironic dickheads on the internet and the E! network and shit who dedicate their lives to saying sarcastic bullshit about supposedly “has been” celebrities.
What I’m telling you is that this is a real fucking good movie, made with care and skill. I can’t believe how much I liked it. It joins UNDISPUTED II as the rare DTV sequel better than its theatrical originator. It’s also probly the first ever part 5 that’s better than its part 1. Unless you count porn.
I liked THE EXPENDABLES alot, I was not disappointed, but it’s seriously flawed. To put it in Stallone terms it’s wounded, and not able to sew itself up. So I’m not gonna come to you with hyperbole and Ain’t It Cool style dick metaphors and exclamation points, but I’m not coming to you with tears either.
ONE IN THE CHAMBER is Kaufman’s newest, and has his best cast so far, by which I mean Dolph Lundgren is in it. Unfortunately I don’t think this one is really a step forward. Story-wise it’s more direct than SAINTS AND SINNERS, but not nearly as clever or gripping as HIT LIST.
There are some ways that the sequel doesn’t seem as desperate to prove its relevance to stupid young people as the first one did. Part 1 had some kind of shitty modern metal bullshit music in it, this one sticks to oldies. Mostly classic rock but even a little old time rock ”˜n roll like PREDATOR or RED SCORPION.
I love this movie. I couldn’t help but watch it twice during the 2-day VOD rental period, and I’ll watch it again November 30th if it plays in 3D here. You gotta respect that it’s the fifth sequel to a Roland Emmerich movie but it’s complex enough to reveal more over multiple viewings.