Over the last decade or so, Seagal, Van Damme and Lundgren have specialised in quickly filmed, low budget action movies, designed to go direct to the home video market. Some have been awful, and some have been pleasant suprises. This film happily falls into the latter category.
Dont expect Cuba Gooding Jnr to give the best performance in this film. He may have the oscar on the shelf, and get top billing here, but this is Dolph Lundgren's movie. His character is infintitely more interesting, and he steals every scene he is in with a performance that builds on his strength in portraying unhinged/crazy characters (as he did in U-Sol, Johnny Mnemonic and The expendables movies). With Louis Mandylor playing the main villain, performances across the board are way better than we have come to expect from this type of movie.
The plot is nothing special- it has shades of Fistfull of Dollars, Last Man Standing,In Bruges and Leon, and the sub-plot involving Gooding and the lead female, is handled particularly badly, and grates against the rest of the movie, but its a little issue that doesnt spoil the experience.
The fight choreography is solid, the direction does not rely on 'shaky cam' and/or quick-cut editing, so you get to see whats going on, and the bullet wounds are done with good old fashioned squibs, rather than CGI, which at this budget, invariably ends up looking fake and cheap.
The end of the film hints at a sequel that would seen Lundgren and Gooding Jnr's characters returning for more carnage. On the evidence of this movie, I hope that they do.
Well worth checking out for fans of the action genre.