Wednesday, January 6, 2010

COMMAND PERFORMANCE (Blu-Ray)

Towering Swedish action icon Dolph Lundgren (RED SCORPION, DARK ANGEL) has been cranking out testosterone-charged action movies pretty much non-stop since the late Eighties. Most of these have been straight to home video, but for fans of the genre, he’s consistently delivered solid, high octane entertainment. Only a handful of his movies have been "good" - and even fewer could be called "great" - but they’re usually fast-paced, fun, and full of gunplay, explosions and muscular stuntwork. In recent years, he’s even started to direct some of his own flicks, and has proven to be pretty decent action filmmaker.

One of his most recent directorial efforts is COMMAND PERFORMANCE, which, like most B-action movies, has a very easy to describe, "high concept" plot. In this case, it’s "DIE HARD at a rock concert," with Lundgren as an ex-biker-turned-rock drummer, who is playing with the opening act at a Moscow concert appearance of an American pop diva. Attending the concert is the Russian president and his teenage daughters – and a group of heavily armed terrorists.

Going in, you know pretty much what to expect and Lundgren doesn’t disappoint. It’s not long before Dolph and the pretty pop star are running around the stadium picking off bad guys while the authorities are stuck impotently outside. The plot is simple and familiar, but there are a few small surprises, some decent performances, a little wit, and perfectly satisfactory action sequences. Dolph’s direction is efficient and brisk, and the fights and stunts are all staged and shot with clarity and energy. It may be a routine actioner, but it’s a well-made routine actioner.

First Look’s Blu-Ray presentation of COMMAND PERFORMANCE is quite nice, with a rock-solid, 2.35:1 high def 1080p widescreen transfer and robust 5.1 Digital Surround audio. The disc includes an interview with Lundgren, some behind-the-scenes fight footage and preview trailers for other First Look Studio releases (including a couple more Lundgren flicks).

If you dig action movies, there are much worse out there, and it’s worth at least a rental. If you’re a Dolph Lundgren fan, this is one of his better star vehicles.

BUY: Command Performance [Blu-ray]