Anchor Bay // 2013 // 97 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // November 20th, 2013
No witnesses. No rules.
Dolph Lundgren (Universal Soldier), Vinnie Jones (Snatch) and Randy Couture (The Expendables) collect paychecks for being in this terrible movie.
Their three characters intersect over the course of a major drug deal. Lundgren is an ambitious DEA agent, searching for the opportunity to make his name. Couture is a corrupt cop seeking the golden egg that will lead him to his retirement. And Jones plays Vinnie Jones who plays Vinnie Jones playing a deranged crime boss. Caught in this web of C-listers are another couple of guys, upon whom the film really revolves around. They're low-level criminals, also seeking a big score, putting them in the crossfire of Jones and his cronies.
These stiffs are the true "anti-heroes" of Ambushed. I use my sarcasm quotes there because they're about as fun to root for -- or accompany on a 90-minte straight-to-video romp -- as tuberculosis.
Look, I don't need to have characters to root for in a film, but at least make them interesting. Or charismatic. Or anything other than two-dimensional douchebags with no redeeming qualities. Why should I care whether these a-holes make off with briefcases full of drug money? That question is never answered throughout the course of the film and the resulting experience is slogging through a feature with a couple of guys I hated and a plot that brings nothing new to the crime film buffet.
"Screw them, Dave!" you might be saying. "Tell us about those three awesome action icons you name-dropped in the beginning of your review!"
Well, okay...since you asked: Dolph looks absolutely bored and as much as a Dolph fan as I can be (however you want to quantify that, which, for me would be "I watched the crap out of Masters of the Universe when I was a kid") I have to admit his last batch of outings have been a bear to sit through; Vinnie Jones has essentially ceased to be as an actor, having been absorbed into the same character movie after movie; and Couture's trademark physicality is wasted.
So doing some back-of-the-envelope math...that adds up to a big fat donut for Ambushed. If you want even a sniff of action -- of which there is precious little here -- I strongly advise you to look elsewhere.
The Blu-ray: 2.35:1, 1080p widescreen, Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround and short behind-the-scenes featurette.
I'm bushed. Guilty.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Anchor Bay
* 2.35:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* TrueHD 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 97 Minutes
Release Year: 2013
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* DVD Copy