(director: Dolph Lundgren; screenwriter: Andrew Kramer; cinematographer: Frances Chen; editor: Matthew Lorentz; music: David Rosengren; cast: Scott Adkins (Mike Wade), Jim E, Chandler (Foreman), Dolph Lundgren (Richard Ericson), Dave Halls (Vince), Kim Delonghi (Kat), Kevin Wayne (James), Billy Culbertson (Inmate/Busted Lip), Scott Hunter (Deacon Glass), Luke Hawx (inmate #2), Ida Lundgren (Emily Ericson); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: NR; producers; Craig Baumgarten, Dolph Lundgren, Andre Relis: SHOUT! STUDIOS; 2021)
“OK standard action pic.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The Swedish-born prolific actor Dolph Lundgren (“Defender”/”Command Performance”) does a nice job acting in and a passable job directing (first time since his 2010 Icarus) in this OK standard action pic despite its muddled script as written by Andrew Kramer, as he teams to work his fifth film together with the Brit action pic actor Scott Adkins.
Mike Wade (Scott Adkins) is a bust as an aging MMA professional boxer. So the lad from Birmingham, Alabama, needing money, living in his pick-up truck, gets temp work on a labor crew demolishing the local abandoned and neglected Castle Falls hospital. But before the building goes down, he retrieves three sports bags of money with $3 million in it that he spots on the 6th floor. The bag’s owner, crime boss Deacon Glass (Scott Hunter), is currently in prison, where the guard Richard Erickson (Dolph Lundgren) currently works, and is desperate to get money to pay for hospital treatment of his cancer stricken teenage daughter Emily (Ida Lundgren, Dolph’s real daughter), he raises as a single parent. Richard is at the site and knows about the money bags. The ruthless imprisoned money bags owner, who stashed the loot there, when informed of the recovery, sends his boys to bring him back the bags anyway possible. All three badly want the money and seem desperate enough to do anything to keep it.
Things don’t kick in until the third act, when the action unfolds, after a tedious and poorly done set-up.
The action set pieces are well-choreographed, but the story never reaches beyond its premise. Since the action scene works, the direct- to-video film works if not too bored to wait for the action to begin. At least that’s why, despite its faults, I still found it modestly enjoyable.
REVIEWED ON 1/1/2022 GRADE: B-