Friday, October 15, 2010

THE KILLING MACHINE

According to the DVD package, the official title of this new direct-to-disc action flick is DOLPH LUNDGREN IS THE KILLING MACHINE (a/k/a ICARUS, 2010). Certainly, the super-sized Swede is some kind of machine - not only is this his 37th feature film (38th, if you count his non-speaking appearance in the James Bond flick A VIEW TO A KILL) but his fifth as director and star.

In THE KILLING MACHINE, Dolph (RED SCORPION, THE EXPENDABLES, COMMAND PERFORMANCE) portrays a former KGB agent-turned-hitman for the Russian mob known as "Icarus." Returning to his Vancouver home after a bloody assignment in Hong Kong, he unexpectedly finds himself the target of a horde of killers working for an unknown employer. Desperate to protect his young daughter and ex-wife from the onslaught of assassins, he must use his every contact, every weapon, every lethal skill at his disposal to keep his family alive and determine the identity of his mysterious adversary.

Once again, Lundgren proves that he didn't waste his time sitting around movie sets for the last couple of decades. Clearly, he was paying attention to how those movies were made. As a director, he shows a perhaps not-unexpected faculty for staging clear, coherent, and brutal action scenes, but Lundgren also proves adept at handling his cast - managing even to get a decent performance out of Bo Svenson (WALKING TALL PART 2, THE INGLORIOUS BASTARDS). The film's pacing is brisk; even when there isn't blood spraying, guns blazing or bones breaking, the film never bogs down. In other words, he has learned how to make a really good low-budget action flick... and I've got to wonder what he could do with real resources and money.

Anchor Bay brings THE KILLING MACHINE to DVD on Tuesday, October 19th with an excellent 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. The only bonus feature is a solid, informative behind-the-scenes featurette.

For fans of 80s action films and/or the legendary Lundgren, THE KILLING MACHINE delivers solid thrills, a serviceable story and Dolph doing exactly what we want him to do: kicking in heads and blowing bad guys away. Recommended.

BUY: The Killing Machine