MGM // 2009 // 96 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Steve Power (Retired) // April 20th, 2010
This one will blow you away!
Another day, another non-descript, banally titled action flick. Does Deadly Impact manage to distinguish itself from a sea of trash? Does it even make a dent?
Tom Armstrong (Sean Patrick Flannery, The Boondock Saints) is a cop with the Albuquerque Police Department. He's devoted to bringing down a serial bomber known only by his alias, The Lion. When things go bad, Tom finds himself burned out and on the skids, until an FBI agent approaches him for help. Eight years after a traumatic experience forced him out of the game, he's back on his home turf, determined to bring down the man who destroyed his life, by any means necessary.
Deadly Impact is every bit as terrible as its banal title would suggest. Sean Patrick Flannery leads the cast with his burned out cop persona. He's on the ragged edge, with nothing left to live for but tequila and nightmares. Then there's Agent Isabel Ordonez (Carmen Serano, Breaking Bad), who kills two birds with one stone by playing both a tough Latino gal and the hard-ass FBI agent. Finally, Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix) fills out the title card and gets his ham on by chewing scenery as the villainous bad guy who doubles as a mad bomber and lousy master of disguise.
There are no surprises in this cobbled together screenplay. We have a happy family brought to an abrupt end by a tragic event. Follow that up with an "X years later..." insert revealing our hero as a drunken mess, dragged back into the game only to have the villain slip through his fingers. But he gets it together long enough to rejoin the team, play ball, and bring in the bad guy...or kill him. We have all the typical red herrings, conspiracies, and close calls, along with the requisite sex scene existing solely to inform the viewer that we are careening into the third act, where that FBI chick is either going to get kidnapped or murdered by the villain. Just an aside: Carmen, what the hell is up with those eyebrows?! Whoever told you that looked good lied to you, girl!
Lame screenplays and wretched acting are nothing new to this genre, and many a time you can salvage some enjoyment out of these Z-graders, if the action is there. Well, it ain't. This thing moves slowly, with the most intense gunfight being Flannery and Joey shooting at each other through the wall of a U-Haul truck. The whole film looks horrible, as if it were shot in natural light on hand held digital video, complete with the jittery moves and shaky camera work of a Cops episode. Pyro is extremely limited by budget, so naturally, every explosion is full-on Playstation 2 quality CG, and the music is as bland and generic as it gets.
The screener provided by MGM was plagued with video issues. What was obviously low rent to begin with is hampered by digital noise, blurring, softness, pixelization, edge enhancement, and just about every other problem you can imagine. It doesn't help that the source material feels like something that would have come out of FOX TV in the early '90s. The 5.1 surround mix is far from aggressive, full of stock foley effects and lacking any sort of resounding oomph. Steven Gutheinz' stock action soundtrack thumps from the front speakers ably enough, but it won't win anyone over.
Somewhere, right now, Blown Away is playing on cable. Go, watch it. Don't waste any time on this dud.
Deadly Impact is one hell of a bomb. Guilty.
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Scales of Justice
* Bottom 100 Discs: #49
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 96 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated