Judge David Johnson got kicked in the package yesterday. It was not a pleasant experience.
Finally. The matchup we've all been waiting for. Dolph. Steve. Together at last! Actually, no. No one asked for this. But perhaps there's a semi-enjoyable action film. Nah. Not that either.
Steve Austin (The Condemned) is Tommy Wick, a grizzled combat vet who makes cash on the side by pummeling dudes at the behest of the local mob kingpin. His most recent assignment is transporting a package to an enigmatic international criminal called "The German" (Dolph Lundgren, Masters of the Universe), the contents of which he has no clue. But time is money, so it's time to beat feet.
Not long after Tommy accepts the task, things go straight to the dogs. Suddenly violent gun-toting hit squads are all over the place, forcing him to open up a two-liter of whoop-ass on anyone who gets in his way. But when Tommy finally comes face-to-face with The German, the delivery turns out to be the very last thing he expected. And, yes, these two crusty old dudes eventually wail on each other.
When it comes to straight-to-video actioners, I do my darndest to withhold the cynicism. Perhaps it's my sympathy for the genre, especially the efforts which attempt to replicate the old timey R-rated exploits of yesteryear. But I'm willing to wipe the slate clean of expectations going into a low-budget production like this, no matter what the alarm bells in my head are telling me.
Steve Austin, Dolph Lundgren, a restricted MPAA rating, and their half faces on the Blu-ray disc cover? Sign me up! Sadly, ten minutes into The Package, I knew what I was in for: another 85 minutes of tedium
Until The German and Tommy meet each other, we're dealing with a paint-by-numbers shoot-em-up, an action film that relies on cannon fodder lighting off automatic weapons in the general direction of our hero, only to be immediately cut down by his return fire. Once in a while, Austin gets to exert his physical brawn, but those sequences are unimaginatively produced and not much fun.
Then we get the reveal, the true purpose of the package and why The German is so interested in Tommy. It's pretty goofy…like, really goofy…but eventually leads us to the main bout, the throwdown between our two stars. Despite Dolph rocking an obvious stand-in, this centerpiece is certainly the most entertaining of all the action vomited up on screen.
Is it enough to salvage this mediocre affair? Nope.
Not much happening with Anchor Bay's Blu-ray either: a slick 1.78:1/1080p widescreen transfer joined by an appropriately brash TrueHD 5.1 Surround mix delivering a suitable high-def experience. Beyond that? A standard def DVD copy and…zilch.
Return to sender.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Anchor Bay
• DVD Copy
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