Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Killing Machine (2010)

It makes sense for somebody whose a veteran actor of a specific genre to eventually be a producer, writer or director for said movie. Many a genre stalwart-Angela Bettis, Robert Englund, and Bruce Campbell have all taken a part of directing films, for better or for worse. So for someone like Dolph Lungren, it makes sense, as he's been a veteran of macho action films for a long time, and has already directed some titles in said genre. Which leads to today's film, "The Killing Machine."

Dolph stars as Edward Genn, a divorced father and investment broker, whose living a double life. You see, he also used to be a dangerous KGB assassin known as "Icarus." Well, the past comes back to haunt him in the Russian mob, and when they go after his family, it's time to strike back.

As you can tell, "The Killing Machine" is pretty much your meat and potatoes style action/revenge movie. Thankfully, said meal isn't unappetizing, though it's certainly not spectacular. This comes from Anchor Bay, who at least seem to have an eye when it comes to direct to DVD action fair, in that said movies have good production values. It's also got enough bloody violence to satiate fans of mindless action fare, and it's all done with relish without feeling like overkill. Lundgren himself does a fine job as the former assassin, doing what he can with the rather basic material (though I had to turn on the subtitles whenever he delivered a monologue), and it's always fun to see Bo Svenson, here acting with a very unconvincing Russian accent. That's just fine though, as it adds to the escapist tone of the whole thing.

If there are any problems, it's the direction and a few other performances. Sure, Lundgren will always be a convincing bad ass, but as a director, there isn't a whole lot about his style that sticks out (though it's nice to see someone not resort to hyperactive editing choices), as it's all done straightforward to the point of feeling a bit vanilla. Also, Stefanie von Pfetten and Lindsay Maxwell deliver performances that could only be described as "unsatisfactory at best." They're really bad here, and kinda drag thing down whenever they show up, though they are pretty attractive.

As a whole, "The Killing Machine" isn't bad for a weekend afternoon action movie. It's serviceable enough, though it's more passable than it is exciting to be honest.

Rating: 6/10

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