Search the Cinema Head Cheese Archives!

April 27, 2011

Movie Review: Direct Contact (2009)

When I was in my early teens there was no greater villain on the planet than Dolph Lundgren. He took Rocky to the limit and stood for everything that a red-blooded American boy was against: Soviets, anabolic steroids, dominatrix girlfriends and he killed Apollo Creed. Not three years later and, in my mid-teens, I realized that even the most horrible villain could have a change of heart. I laughed and cheered as Dolph Lundgren made a cartoon come to life as he played He-Man in the wonderfully campy Masters of the Universe. Dolph fell off the radar for awhile… or at least I thought. Little did I know that Dolph was consistently making a stream of no-budget actioners in tiny eastern European countries (long before his resurrection in The Expendables). Remembering that nostalgic feeling, I sat down to see Dolph duke it out with Eddie, of Eddie and the Cruisers fame himself, Michael Pare in their latest blow-em-up Direct Contact. I should have known better.

In a nutshell, Dolph is one of those elite American soldiers with a weird accent (like Jean Claude Van Damme) trapped in a Russian prison. He is let out to find a lost American girl because of his awesome skills and runs into a despicable villain that looks like Michael Pare if he had eaten Michael Moore. Things happen, guns shoot (not for real, though, we had those neat-o digital gunshots), Dolph runs, Michael doesn’t, Dolph taps the girl (Gina Ray, who should have won an Oscar if there was a Best Cardboard category) and all is well in the end. Even with the horrendous English performances, the winner of the day is the non-English cast stumbling through their very English lines. In a particularly priceless scene, James Chalke, playing Uncle Trent, asks about Dolph’s disappearance, “Did he go A.O.L?” I had Dolph pegged as a NetZero guy myself.

This film is pretty disappointing. Dolph and company really should have stayed buried in that little Bulgarian town. When I noticed that Dolph could go from villain to hero he made his final transition to lumbering oaf reminiscent of Karloff’s Frankenstien Monster without the charisma. On top of the horrible acting, the writing was equally as atrocious. I remember, in my filmmaking infancy, slapping out a screenplay in eight hours that is at least entertaining. This dreck, though… wow. Bad acting, bad script – I wonder if we can get the crap movie trifecta? Yep. Horrible direction complete with continuity errors galore. I read online that Direct Contact also used footage from other independent action films. Too bad they didn’t just use a whole other film, I may have enjoyed that one. 

No comments:

Post a Comment