Saturday, January 9, 2010

Blockbuster Trash: The Defender (2004)

Ah Dolph, I've missed you. It has been so long. Those seven days were sure rough, weren't they? Don't worry- we're together. This time, I am talking about your directorial debut from 2004. Evidently, the director of the film fell ill during production, so the company just said 'screw it- let the Aryan scarecrow direct it!' What is the movie about, you ask? Basically, Dolph plays a different version of himself who happens to work for the United States government. You know shit has gone bad when the government is hiring failed action stars from the 1980s. It might explain a lot when I tell you that United States is being run by Jerry Springer! I won't spoil any more of it for you, so let's shoot our way into...
The film begins with Dolph being taken into an ambulance after being shot numerous times. Hey, this movie is looking up! Unfortunately, this movie is getting all Sunset Boulevard on us and we are only just beginning. Cue up the flashback!

To be honest with you, I don't remember a lot of this movie. It is a pretty basic plot that gives us all the notes that we usually get. There are some interesting moments that make it worth seeing though.

-Dolph and company are seen walking in slow-motion towards the camera. It makes you feel like you are either watching 'Queer Eye for the Dolph Guy' or 'Law & Order: Special Dolph Unit.'

-We get a whole bunch of footage of Dolph serving in military combat. Does it serve any purpose? Not really, no.

-One guy gets shot in the head, causing a sudden fountain of blood to shoot out. If you are going to use blood spurts, why would you only do it once and so dramatically?!?

-Dolph and company take down a group of bad guys who swing in through the windows. How? Well, it helps when the guys can't get untangle themselves from the ropes and just sort of stand there!

-Jerry Springer does a bunch of random scenes as the President. They aren't bad, but they are cutaways from the action. Whose bright idea was that? Oh, it was the guy who wrote Ripper 2: Letter From Within...which is apparently a movie.

-The plot takes a weird turn near the end as the group must protect a terrorist, since his death would do more harm than good. Unfortunately, one of his group members does not 'get the memo' and starts shooting. What a weird twist.
This movie is not good. It's not really all that bad either though. Really, it's just so unremarkable that it fails to stand out. There is nothing about it that is amazingly-bad or immeasurably-stupid. The fact that the most interesting part of the film is the casting of Jerry Springer as the President (he gets top-billing in the trailer) should say a lot. I think the fact that a first time director had to take over the project to finish it is a factor. On top of that, the first time director is Dolph Lundgren! They could have done a lot with this movie with a better cast, script and budget. Ultimately though, this is just an opportunity to have shoot-outs and explosions. That's good- most movies don't have that in them!
Next up, I take a week to cover some reviews that have escaped me for one reason or another. First up, the first remake of a George A. Romero classic. Was it worth the 22 year delay? Stay tuned...

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