New Line // 1995 // 99 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // October 22nd, 2004
Perhaps the most disbelief-suspending piece of fiction in this film fraught with video-wristwatches, bicycle/boat chases, tiny grappling hooks, and explosive phones, is the fact that the U.N. actually accomplishes something.
United Nations secret agent Mike Graham (Pierce Brosnan, Die Another Day) is a shaggy-haired, gun-toting, smart-mouthed bad-ass who has just returned from a costly mission where his best friend was gunned down.
Eager to get back into the field to take his mind off the tragedy, Mike joins fellow agent Sabrina Carver (Alexandra Paul, the only girl from Baywatch without breasts the size of kickballs) on a seemingly mundane mission to track down an art forger.
But little to do they know that their investigation will lead them to discover a secret plan to throw the free world into chaos. The forger, a wealthy mover and shaker, is connected with some slimy militants bent on jamming a nuclear missile down the collective throats of the Western world.
So unfolds Mike and Sabrina's quest, which places them in action set-piece after action set-piece, most of them incredibly stupid.
Brosnan is playing "U.N. Agent" Mike Graham similar to his James Bond -- cool, smug, a hit with the ladies, and an eager gambler. In fact, the casino scene seems like it was clipped directly from a Bond movie.
Of course his gadgets are considerably uncooler than what the Q branch has to offer: a miniature grappling hook that clamps to the wrist, and which shoots out rope that doesn't appear to be able to suspend a Number 2 pencil, much less a full-grown man; and a video watch that looks a lot like those old wrist Double Dragon games from Tiger.
The action leaves much to be desired as well. While there are a handful of cool moments, specifically those involving Graham having his ass walloped by a 'roid-raging bodybuilder, the film boasts some truly laughable scenes.
An extended chase sequence features Alexandra Paul's Sabrina Carver chasing a bad guy. The villain leaps into a boat and takes off. Carver commandeers a bike and pursues. The sight of this woman, clad in a ridiculous outfit of a white sweater-shirt matched with what appears to be high-water clown pants, pedaling like nuts after the slowest boat ever created, is sublime. All of this is set to an abysmal score that may or may not be a strange hybrid between Muzak and the soundtrack to a hard-core porno.
The ante is upped a bit when our dynamic duo confront the conniving bastards ready to nuke to their heart's content. A final showdown of "U.N. Special Forces" versus the terrorists, on a boat, isn't too bad a closer; particularly Graham's throw-down with the ringleader. Graham gets karate-chopped a bit, but eventually pulls off a halfway decent finisher, scoring above average on the Final Bad Guy Death spectrum.
WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!
With a SOCK! and a BIFF! Graham throws the villain into the rocket bay, who then gets incinerated by the propulsion blasts. Here's some useless geek trivia for you. Drawing another parallel to Brosnan's Bond universe, this death scene is identical to the end villain's death scene in Everything or Nothing, the newest James Bond game. Pretty crazy, huh? Coincidence, don't you think? I'm a big loser, no?
New Line is committed to producing decent transfers of all manner of films, apparently, so good for them. Even a cheesy mid-'90s action yarn like this gets a nice treatment, with a 1.85:1 widescreen presentation and a sharp picture that looks dated, but holds up nicely. Unfortunately, the sound department has some serious issues. Despite the Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 mixes, there are some glaring problems with the discrete channels. When a lot is happening onscreen, and the fronts and surround kick in to handle the channel-specific audio, the center goes nearly mute. Weird and stupid.
Trailers and some DVD content are your only extras.
Detonator 2: Night Watch is a pretty lame-brained affair, highlighted by a fun, smarmy Pierce Brosnan and some laughably awful action scenes.
Guilty. Detonate this.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: New Line
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* DTS 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 99 Minutes
Release Year: 1995
MPAA Rating: Rated R