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You. Not. Expendable. Part 1: Dolph Lundgren Revisited (RED SCORPION, THE PUNISHER, & I COME IN PEACE)

 

Hey folks, Harry here...  Below is Col. Travis' first article for AICN.  If you love my show, then in no small part, you should show love to Travis' first of a series of articles revisiting the various members of EXPENDABLES 2's gallery of manly man films.   Now, here you go...

 

 

You. Not. Expendable. Part 1: Dolph Lundgren Revisited (RED SCORPION, THE PUNISHER, & I COME IN PEACE)

 

What’s up, Contenders? Terry Malloy here reporting live from the Waterfront.

 

You. Not. Expendable. Will revisit some of the classic (and not so classic) films starring the various and sundry cast members of The Expendables 2 in order to open up a conversation about action cinema in general and to prepare us all for the carnage that Expendables 2 will (hopefully) reap upon us all.

 

As we approach the August 17th theatrical release date of The Expendables 2, You. Not. Expendable will highlight different cast members, singling out a few of their feature film endeavors. The jury is still out on whether you, too, will want to revisit each of these films.

 

Dolph Lundgren AKA Gunnar Jensen

 

I kick off the column with Dolph Lundgren because Synapse Films recently released a rather stunning Blu-ray of his Red Scorpion. I’ll discuss that title more below, but falling in love with Red Scorpion just got me onto a Dolph Lundgren kick. My logic then followed that I wanted to track down some of his other early films that I either hadn’t seen yet, or hadn’t seen in a VERY long time. So we’ll be discussing the aforementioned Red Scorpion, The Punisher, and I Come In Peace AKA Dark Angel. So, let’s revisit why Dolph Lundgren is not expendable.

Red Scorpion

 

Tag Lines:

 

  • They Think They Control Him. Think Again.
  • A human killing machine. Taught to stalk. Trained to kill. Programmed to destroy. He’s played by their rules… until now!

 

I’ve already tipped my hand that I pretty much loved Red Scorpion. It was my first viewing of the film, and what a way to experience it. Synapse Films’ Blu-ray release of Red Scorpion treats this action classic with love and adoration, providing an excellent (if not cutting edge) 2K scan of the film, and packing the disc out with a commentary track and newly produced interviews with Lundgren, Producer and Convicted Criminal/Political Lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and make-up legend Tom Savini! If you already love the action films of the 1980s and haven’t seen this one yet, just stop reading now and go buy this sucker. I’m literally thrilled to own it.

 

Now that I’ve slathered praise all over this Red Scorpion release, let’s talk about the film itself. Seemingly tailor made for Dolph Lundgren, he basically gets to reprise his break out role in Rocky IV as Ivan Drago. One can easily envision a different scenario where instead of being trained to be the ultimate boxer, Ivan Drago was trained to be Spetsnaz, a Soviet Elite Soldier who, as the tagline suggests, is programmed to destroy. But this was 1989, and a movie hero can’t be a commie, right? What better plan, then, to have a trained Soviet killer experience a genuine and heartfelt doctrinal shift that ultimately makes him the greatest Commie-killer imaginable? That is Red Scorpion in a nutshell.

 

If I had been a grown adult in 1989, I might have been offended by the ridiculously anti-Soviet/anti-communist messages of the film, and the political leanings of its producer, one Jack Abramoff. But viewed here in 2012, the politics of the film just kind of crack me up. And yet at the same time, the drama of Nikolai Rachenko’s “redemption” works quite well. Of course, the ultimate sign of Ratchenko’s conversion from Commie to rebel leader is when he loads a shotgun shell into the chamber and says to his new rebel friends “Let’s kick some ass”. So no, this isn’t On The Waterfront we are talking about here.

 

But my sense is that Rachenko is played by Lundgren as a bit of a big, lunky puppy who hasn’t quite grown into his abnormally large body. Lungren appears impossibly young in Red Scorpion, and that naivite is both important to the story and helps the audiences get behind Rachenko. He is a killing machine, but he is also young and impressionable. So when he hits rock bottom after failing in his first mission to assassinate a rebel leader, this enormous puppy of a man is rescued and redeemed by a tiny old bushman named Gao. It sounds ludicrous, but Gao is played by a legit native bushman and Rachenko’s time in the wilderness with Gao is tender-hearted and treated more like a legitimate story arch than a training montage.

 

But the time eventually comes for the newly enlightened Rachenko to walk out of the wilderness a changed man. And when he teams up with the rebels he once hunted, it really is time to kick some ass!

 

The Gun

 

I can’t move on from Red Scorpion just yet. I have to mention that there is one firearm in the film, featured on all the major artwork I have seen representing Red Scorpion, that is cooler than even Terry Crewes’ auto shotgun from the first Expendables film. This gun does awful, terrible things to whatever it is shot at. And I’d like to posit that the gun itself undergoes the journey that Rachenko does! Starting out the film in the hands of a Communist General, this gun blows a shotting range to bits. And once the gun switches its loyalties and falls into the hands of the Red Scorpion himself, the USSR is pretty much doomed.

 

Once Dolph picks up this weapon, we are treated to an incredible Tom Savini make-up sequence in which a man’s arm is blown entirely off ON SCREEN. It is an amazing gag that I had to freeze frame through after I saw it. And then once that dude is dispatched, Dolph turns the fury of this cinematic hand cannon against one of those badass Soviet helicopters that you see in every action movie with Russians in it. Guess who wins?

 

Final Thoughts

 

If Dolph Lundgren had had a couple of more films like this one in his early career, I genuinely think he could’ve transcended his current level of celebrity and broken into the uncontested action god realm. But as fate would have it, his next couple of films wouldn’t quite reach the level of 1980s excess and grandeur that Red Scorpion achieved. I’d suggest that Red Scorpion is a B-level action movie that didn’t get the memo and just shot for the A-list.

The Punisher (1989)

 

Tag Lines:

 

  • If society won’t punish the guilty, he will.
  • Judge. Jury. Executioner. All in a day’s work.
  • The guilty will be punished.

 

I won’t give as much time and attention to the next 2 films as I did to Red Scorpion. They simply don’t warrant that amount of scrutiny!

 

The Punisher is a Marvel property that seems incredibly easy to adapt into a feature film, but has never quite hit the mark 100% yet, and since it has had 3 attempts at this point, I get the feeling that Marvel is going to chill out on the Punisher train.

 

Literally every human reading this knows the complex backstory of Frank Castle AKA The Punisher (Lundgren). His family got killed by bad people, so he kills bad people. And he generally looks really cool while doing it. Punisher mythology lesson complete!

 

I’ll start out with what Dolph Lundgren’s version of The Punisher gets right, but it is a short list. For one thing, and this is a big thing, the body count in The Punisher is simply off the charts. Within 20 minutes, Frank Castle has killed a couple dozen people. By the end of the proceedings, I have to believe that Castle has put a good 100 plus notches on his gangster-killing wall. 1989 was a different time for films and for Marvel! Even back then, although the movie was made, it wasn’t treated as a major priority and feels produced on the cheap. But the great part about that is the sense of abandon that the movie has. Human life is cheap in this film. And I guess you only get that level of irresponsible murder on a film that doesn’t have dozens of marketing/studio execs pulling for the biggest mass appeal possible.

 

For evidence of my last point, watch the Tom Jane Punisher movie.

 

Beyond the body count, I have to say that I really did enjoy some of the action set pieces and action direction of The Punisher. Lundgren’s enormous bulk paired with his legitimate martial arts training has always been the big draw, and he gets to shoot lots of guns AND fight lots of dudes (and a couple of ladies) in The Punisher. I felt that the geography and camera work in many of the major action sequences was clear and exciting.

 

But there is a whole movie that is wrapped around those action scenes that just isn’t very good at all. Lundgren must not be able to grow much of a beard, because the filmmakers here felt like it was a great idea to PAINT a 5 o’clock shadow on Lundgren’s face. I’m not sure if they were going for a vague skull reference in his makeup, or if they just figured “Hey, punishing people is dirty work”. But Lundgren’s face is smeared with silly looking black make-up for the duration of the film and it is more than a little bit distracting.

 

Then you have Louis Gossett, Jr. running around looking for Frank Castle. And I do mean looking for him. Actually, Gossett, Jr.’s character, Jake Berkowitz (!), literally does absolutely nothing in the film but look for Frank Castle. If you took every single moment of Berkowitz’ screen time away, it wouldn’t affect the major plot at all! The Punisher is basically killing off gangsters and gets wrapped up in a gang war between the Italians and the Yakuza. He single-handedly kills both gangs, and saves lots of small children in the process. But if you imagined Louis Gossett, Jr. ultimately teaming up with Lundgren for some carnage, or really doing anything, you will be disappointed. I guess Berkowitz provides some important exposition, or represents the humanity of Frank Castle, or what Castle could have been. But whatever, dude.

 

Final Thoughts

 

Dolph isn’t necessarily miscast as The Punisher. It was probably a smart move for him to take this role. But he is kind of upstaged by his crazy stubble make-up. While I like that The Punisher actually does a whole lot of punishing in this iteration, the movie is filled with so much miserable exposition and poor acting and set designs that Dolph’s version can only be considered the second best Punisher. (With Punisher: War Zone being the least of all evils and Tom Jane’s being the clear worst.)

                                                              

I Come In Peace (AKA DARK ANGEL)

 

Tag Lines:

 

  • Good cop. Bad alien. Big trouble.
  • Detective Jack Caine thought he’d seen every kind of crook on earth. He had.

 

I Come In Peace was apparently titled Dark Angel throughout the rest of the world’s film markets, and it seems somewhat hard to find for home video today. I personally had to rent a VHS copy of the movie from I Luv Video. But it does appear that there is a limited edition DVD version, under the title Dark Angel, that can be purchased on Amazon.

 

However, I can’t say I recommend that purchase. I Come In Peace literally makes The Punisher look like a daggone masterpiece of action cinema!

 

With taglines like the ones featured above, I had high hopes for a pretty fun ride with this flick. But I Come In Peace is seriously lacking on almost every level.

 

The premise is fun enough: Det. Jack Caine is a tough cop who, after losing his partner and getting yelled at by his superior officers, is asked to go on a forced vacation. But when the feds step in, they put him back on active duty and partner Caine up with an annoying young FBI agent (Brian Benben.) Things get crazy quickly, though, when it turns out that they are on the hunt for a killer alien! A poor man’s Predator 2 ensues.

 

Man, where do I start with this thing? For one thing, how many cop movie clichés did I touch on in my previous paragraph? That’s right: all of them. The dead partner, the angry police chief, the loner/rule-breaker hero, the new partner who eventually becomes best buds with the hero. Each of those clichés in and of themselves can be tolerated, but this movie has ALL of them, and does them all poorly.

 

Then, you have the aliens. There are two of them. And they keep trying to kill each other. Eventually we learn that one is a bit of an interstellar drug dealer who is creating a cosmic drug out of the brains of its human victims, or something like that? And the other is an intergalactic cop trying to stop him. We learn very little about these aliens, which could be a mystery-building strength, but it isn’t. There is no mystery about them, they just show up and battle it out.

 

Oh, did I mention that the aliens pretty much look like normal dudes with milky eyes? It is almost like everyone in the movie was clued in: These guys are aliens! But as a viewer, they literally just looked like slightly juiced up punks. Not to mention that they aren’t “dark” at all, so I’m not sure why the title Dark Angel would have ever applied. The villain alien literally looks like an albino Edward James Olmos, only more normal.

 

Final Thoughts

 

I Come In Peace feels a lot like Predator 2 (released the same year), with an urban cop fighting an alien that SHOULD outmatch him on every level. But the screenplay is more riddled with clichés than bullets, and once you throw in the super-annoying sidekick whose comic relief is eye-gougingly inauthentic, this one isn’t even fun enough to appeal to my retro-kitch aesthetic. Just watch Red Scorpion twice and skip this one!

 

And I’m Out.

 

Terry Malloy AKA Ed Travis

 

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Readers Talkback
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  • July 8, 2012, 1:05 a.m. CST

    I must break you

    by dead youngling

  • July 8, 2012, 1:10 a.m. CST

    Dolph made a pretty good Punisher

    by lv_426

    The movie itself wasn't good, but had they had a better script and director, it could have been something. Doesn't help that back in the late 80's comic book hero films were not respected by Hollywood, except for Batman and Superman as two exceptions.

  • July 8, 2012, 1:11 a.m. CST

    ...And you go in Pieces.

    by ThulsaBoom

    ...that's literally my only Dolph quote off the top of my head since you stole the big one dead youngling. Well played. Should've watched Universal Soldier more. I come in peace rocked when I was 10. Haven't seen it since then though. Showdown in Little Tokyo anyone? "I've never seen a penis that big on a man." (paraphrasing)

  • July 8, 2012, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Met Dolph twice. Genuinely nice fella.

    by BiggusDickus

    F***in' massive, though! Wouldn't want to tell him his hair looks gay or anything...

  • July 8, 2012, 1:18 a.m. CST

    "I Come In Peace feels a lot like Predator 2"

    by lv_426

    I always thought that Dolph should have been the lead for a Predator 3 back in the early to mid 90's. Maybe set in a volatile African nation at war, which would have given it a bit of a nod to Red Scorpion. Or maybe in the Middle East? Hey, how about set in the Middle East during the Crusades? Predators could have been coming to Earth to hunt around that time of history I'd wager. Dolph as a bad ass knight in the Holy Land fighting a predator, which to people back then would seem like a demon. Or they could have done Universal Soldiers vs Predator.

  • July 8, 2012, 1:20 a.m. CST

    Not a bad article, however...

    by The Shropshire Slasher

    I Come in Peace is waaaay better than The Punisher. My opinion of course. I haven't seen Red Scorpion since it first came out on video. I'll have to watch it again as I recall it not being very good.

  • July 8, 2012, 1:24 a.m. CST

    A lotta Dolph love on this site...

    by ThulsaBoom

    ...and I don't mind!

  • July 8, 2012, 1:28 a.m. CST

    Dolph would have made a great Judge Dredd

    by lv_426

    Think about it. He wasn't a mega-star like Stallone, and probably could have kept the helmet on for most of or all of the film. Dolph also has the stature to properly portray Dredd. Hell, he's taller than Stallone. How badass would a lower budget but gory hard R Judge Dredd done by the director of Hardware (which was inspired by the Cursed Earth setting of 2000 AD), starring Dolph as Dredd have been back in the 90's?

  • July 8, 2012, 1:48 a.m. CST

    And thus the viral marketing for Expendables 2 begins

    by David_Denmans_Beard

  • July 8, 2012, 1:50 a.m. CST

    Jokes aside

    by David_Denmans_Beard

    It's not a bad read. Then again, similar was said of The Kidd and look how that turned out.

  • July 8, 2012, 2:19 a.m. CST

    by medster101

    Showdown had all the same cop movie cliches too but it was defenitely entertaining. I'm gonna have to check out red scorpion now.

  • July 8, 2012, 2:31 a.m. CST

    Let Dolph direct Expendables 3

    by schlockthemonkey

    Has anyone else seen his directorial efforts? He is ready to graduate from DTV to theatricals.

  • July 8, 2012, 2:46 a.m. CST

    There's one other gem in his filmography

    by docmem

    "Men of War" (1994) was about 300X better than it had any right to be. (Mostly due to a John Sayles screenplay and some seriously slumming supporting cast, notably BD Wong.)

  • July 8, 2012, 2:57 a.m. CST

    MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE

    by bob_uzumaki

    No love for that?

  • July 8, 2012, 3:03 a.m. CST

    HE-MAN!

    by spicy-mag.com

    Exactly. How do you not mention Masters of the Universe. His biggest lead role outside of Rocky 4.

  • July 8, 2012, 4:07 a.m. CST

    First of all

    by Evan Meadow

    How can you complain about a movie that heat seeking killer CD's? I mean come on! And I would have taken out Red Scorpion and put in instead Showdown in Little Tokyo! Ok let's face it, Dolph needs another 3 parter of movie reviews. Showdown, Little Tokyo, and Johnny Numeonic!

  • July 8, 2012, 4:07 a.m. CST

    Showdown in little tokyo

    by Dave

    Now that was a great movie!

  • July 8, 2012, 4:08 a.m. CST

    No Expendables 3 needs to be directed by McTiernan

    by Volllllume3

  • July 8, 2012, 5:35 a.m. CST

    "If you're guilty, you're dead"!

    by Stalkeye

    Make no mistake, Warzone is the best of the Punisher "Triumvirate" but Dolph's take easily surpasses Jane's lackluster version. Castle taking on both the Mafia and Yakuza easily outpaces some ridiculous story whereas Tom Jane sets up a fake fire hydrant in order to turn John Travolta against his wife?!? My major gripe with 1989's Punisher, had to be the Director's decision not to use the iconic Skull, kinda like having Superman without the "S". But the M60 with Grenade under-barrel made up for it. Now that makeshift weapon should have been used in Expendables. Fun B-Movie that's better than some of the other Marvel crap like Man Thing and Ghost Rider SOV.

  • July 8, 2012, 5:37 a.m. CST

    Trivia: Punisher

    by Stalkeye

  • July 8, 2012, 5:45 a.m. CST

    Trivia: Punisher

    by Stalkeye

    During the intro of Biohazard's song; "Punishment" the opening line with Dolph's voice saying "Here is Justice, here is Punishment, Here....in me". Well worth a listen not just for the opening line, but a good classic Nu Metal song.

  • July 8, 2012, 5:46 a.m. CST

    thelordofhell, LMMFAO

    by Stalkeye

    Well said.

  • July 8, 2012, 5:52 a.m. CST

    lv_426 - Dolph as Royce in Predators 2010

    by CARTMANEZ

    wouldve been awesome.

  • July 8, 2012, 6:49 a.m. CST

    I'm all ears...

    by Mark Jones

    Only watched Red Scorpion once, recently, and didn't really enjoy it. For classic Dolph, my top 3 have to be Rocky IV, Masters of the Universe and Universal Soldier.

  • July 8, 2012, 6:52 a.m. CST

    @ stalkeye

    by BiggusDickus

    Hell, just stick the whole of 'Urban Discipline' on - it's a classic! Or even better - 'State Of The World Address'. Awesome album! Biohazard were the tits!

  • July 8, 2012, 6:53 a.m. CST

    Geography?

    by Yer_Maw

    Yup, the fight geography in The Punisher was top notch. Martial arts geography is something of a dying art ...

  • July 8, 2012, 6:54 a.m. CST

    No mention of his picture scaring away burglars from his house?

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    All hail OLEG.

  • July 8, 2012, 7:05 a.m. CST

    Much respect to Dolph from a big fan, thanks for the post Harry...

    by brocknroll

    While Dolph is mostly a "Straight to DVD" actor, he still gets my respect 'cause he is a hard working and talented man. How come, "Masters of the Universe" is not on here? That film is coming out on Blu Ray in Oct.

  • July 8, 2012, 7:06 a.m. CST

    full penetration

    by degausser

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xbftip_it-s-always-sunny-in-philadelphia-f_fun

  • July 8, 2012, 7:53 a.m. CST

    i come in peace is great

    by Waka_Flocka

  • July 8, 2012, 8:59 a.m. CST

    Exclamation points!

    by exyle

    Make everything more exciting! See!

  • July 8, 2012, 9:10 a.m. CST

    by Joel St. Julien

    breh, what about Universal Soldier! you can't front on the ear necklace.

  • July 8, 2012, 9:55 a.m. CST

    "FUCK YOU SPACEMAN!!!!"

    by 5secondfuse

    I watched it as Dark Angel back in the day on VHS. Bought it off Amazon on DVD for peanuts. It's a fucking great movie after 6 beers and that's all you want from a movie like this. Dolph is great, Benben is great and the main Villain is awesome with his flying CD's of death. Just check out the fucking movie poster and you know your in for a good time.

  • Communists have killed over 25 million people, mostly their own, you stupid fucking wanna be colonel!

  • He actually reviewed the contents of the disc.

  • July 8, 2012, 10:31 a.m. CST

    So this series of articles is pretty much a rip-off of what Vern did...

    by Knuckleduster

    ... on his site when the first Expendables was on the way.

  • July 8, 2012, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Masters of the Universe will be getting love...

    by Sean1701

    this fall when it gets it's 25th anniversary release on Bluray. Looking forward to it!

  • July 8, 2012, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Dolph should make MOTU 2

    by CARTMANEZ

    Dolph as a King Conon-esque He Man and Langella as Skeletor again (he did say hed be back!)

  • July 8, 2012, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Here is Punishment

    by wrath 4771

  • July 8, 2012, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Dark Angel title makes sense

    by Bouncy X

    there's an evil alien killing people...aliens comes from space or "the heavens" and hence the Dark Angel. of course the north american title is much better and more 80s/90s. lol

  • July 8, 2012, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Well done Ed.

    by John Ary

    Looking forward to future installments.

  • July 8, 2012, 11:33 a.m. CST

    Johnny Mnemonic

    by Red11

    Watching the movie, I remember thinking "How is Dolph Lundgren the best actor in this movie?" Fun review. I look forward to more of them.

  • July 8, 2012, 11:37 a.m. CST

    "Masters of the Universe" sequel...

    by brocknroll

    To those wondering why they never made a sequel to "Masters of the Universe", they were gonna, but Cannon didn't have the budget to make the film for since the first bombed in the box office. The Jean Claude Van Damme film, "Cyborg" was originally supposed to be the sequel for "MOTU". All the costumes worn for the "Cyborg" movie was originally supposed to be the costumes for the "MOTU" sequel. It's too bad that a sequel to that film is never gonna be made now. Instead, Joel Silver is working with Mattel on a re-boot. John Stevenson is directing the re-boot. The film hasn't started being made yet, they're still writing the script.

  • July 8, 2012, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Universal Soldier was a Van Damme movie.

    by Red11

    Talkbackers, don't ask for movies where Dolph Lundgren was the villian in. I expect a He-Man and Showdown in Little Tokyo review. Hopeful the 3rd movie is the 1996 video store classic Silent Trigger.

  • July 8, 2012, 12:19 p.m. CST

    MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE, Etc

    by Ed Travis

    Hey everyone! I've written up MOTU for another column that'll hopefully be running on AICN as well. Currently working on round 2 of You. Not. Expendable. While I'd love to write up Showdown In Little Tokyo and Universal Soldier 1 and 5 (Regeneration kinda rules), this piece was already long enough. Maybe for Expendables 3? Lastly, I'll have to look up Men Of War. Haven't seen that one and I'll gladly take a recommend for a good Dolph classic!

  • July 8, 2012, 12:24 p.m. CST

    RE: Men Of War

    by Ed Travis

    Looks like Men of War is available on Netflix Watch Instant. In a related note, looks like my night is planned. PS: Agree w red11 that Universal Soldier films are kinda JCVD's movies, with Dolph chewing up the scenery as a great villain, but the villain none the less.

  • July 8, 2012, 12:43 p.m. CST

    Dolph's Punisher is a gulty pleasure of mine.

    by Rick

    Although very much a B movie - I think it is fun to watch.

  • July 8, 2012, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Hhhmmmmm.......

    by david starling

    Lundgren's Punisher movie is a darned sight better than the one with Thomas Jane and John Travolta in it, and is a smidgin on a par with the Ray Stevenson one!! Lundgren had the better backup cast though (Louis Gosset Jr, Jeroen Krabbe). Dark Angel is a severely good piece of action, and is quirky in its own ways, making a silly but very entertaining movie!!

  • July 8, 2012, 1:22 p.m. CST

    Blackjack

    by StoneGold

    Blackjack is something of an oddity if you can track it down. Dolph Lundgren, directed by John F'n Woo as the pilot for a TV series. Kind of uneven, at least in part due to it really being a TV pilot, but there's a fight in a dairy where everything goes all milky, something to behold.

  • July 8, 2012, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Dolph's Punisher is Fun.

    by cookylamoo

    The bad guys are loopy, and I can really see the Punisher living in the sewer.

  • July 8, 2012, 2 p.m. CST

    Dolph woulda made a great Thor

    by Clarence_Boddickers_Optometrist

    And Colossus. Take MOTU Dolph throw a winged Helmut on him and voila! And chrome plate Drago and there ya go. Love I Come In Peace. Along with Die Hard, it rates as one of my favorite Christmas themed movies. Think the chemistry between he and Benben is reminiscent of Devito/Arnold, which I'm sure was a bit intentional. Always picture MOTU Dolph when reading Dark Tower The Wastelands novel re The Tick ToMan.Only with some emerald green contact lenses.

  • July 8, 2012, 2:01 p.m. CST

    * Tick Tok Man

    by Clarence_Boddickers_Optometrist

  • Inspired? 'Hardware' was pretty much a blatant rip-off of a 2000AD strip in which a partly-built robot terrorised a woman by trapping her in her high-tech apartment while the robot attempted to rebuild itself piece by piece. Both the strip and 'Hardware' are variations on 'Demon Seed', in which a woman is trapped in her high-tech house while a nutty AI attempts to impregnate her with its cyborg offspring.

  • July 8, 2012, 3:50 p.m. CST

    RE: dutchdave

    by Faustous_

  • July 8, 2012, 3:52 p.m. CST

    RE: dutchdave

    by Faustous_

    I agree 100%. I was thinking to myself, "why is he not reviewing showdown in little tokyo" the whole time I was reading this article. That movie is clearly Dolph's best in my opinion...the guy gets to display not just his action chops but also a sense of humor. It also stars Brandon Lee in one of his early roles. Great, great movie.

  • July 8, 2012, 6:25 p.m. CST

    I come In Peace is fully aware of its cliche's

    by solitaire

    It actually kind of revels in it. You expect the guys place to be a shithole covered in spank mags and roaches developing the used Chinese food containers as time shares, but then they walk in and it's immaculate with art and fine furniture, and he offers the fed some wine! Benben is a riot in this...BTW, can ANYONE tell me why Dream On isn't on dvd??? I came of age to that show for Crissakes!

  • July 8, 2012, 7:13 p.m. CST

    Dolph should have been Reacher!

    by fanboy71

    go to www.leechild.com and take a look at the shadowed figure of Reacher in the upper left corner. Does that look like Tom Cruise? NO! It looks like Dolph Lundgren!!! That was a no brainer and they totally screwed it up. And I agree that Dolph was the 2nd best Punisher. Tom Jane's version sucked ass.

  • July 8, 2012, 7:50 p.m. CST

    dolphs look in punisher

    by mcgillj

    I think it was a cinescape article around the time of release when Lundgren said the "f*cked up look was his conscious choice.. Being all pale.. Looking like a guy who has lived underground for 5 years.." He said the producers told him he needed to look good and tanned. I prefer Dolph's version. You have a point about Gosett. But he is the person who brings you into who Castle is.. Through his affection for Castle you think or hope of his as redeemable. The same can be said of his sidekick later guilting him into saving the kids.. Left on his own i doubt he would have.

  • July 8, 2012, 8:03 p.m. CST

    THIS IS THE WORST ARTICLE I HAVE READ AT AICN IN A LONG TIME

    by Mullah Omar

    Dolph's PUNISHER and I COME IN PEACE are some of my favorite guilty pleasures from the 80s. The fact that Terry Malloy AKA Ed Travis got NO pleasure from either film means I can personally dismiss him as a reviewer. But the fact that he also omits LOADS of other quality or at least chat-worthy Dolph flicks (LITTLE TOKYO, MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE, even ROCKY 4 or his modern-day films like COMMAND PERFORMANCE) means he's just plain lazy and not worth including on this site. This is the first time in years that I have thought that an AICN reviewer was literally nowhere near the same orbit as most of us who read AICN. Somebody get Vern to do this series. THAT GUY understands the essence of what makes Dolph awesome.

  • They wanted you dead...

  • July 8, 2012, 10:06 p.m. CST

    We'd better get a DOUBLE TEAM review when its JCVD's turn

    by MaxCalifornia.

    That film is a work of surreal genius.

  • July 8, 2012, 10:48 p.m. CST

    Yep, yep. Showdown In Little Tokyo. One of the best action movies of the 90's.

    by DanielnocharismaCraig

    Plus we get the late Brandon Lee in it as well. Classic all around.

  • July 8, 2012, 11:04 p.m. CST

    I come in peace....

    by Wheel99

    but you go in pieces.

  • July 8, 2012, 11:24 p.m. CST

    Silent Trigger

    by Elcabio

    One of my favorite B-Movies. elevated by the incredibly inconsistent Russell Mulcahy's direction and a great score by Stefano Mainetti http://www.stefanomainetti.it/show_video_ext.asp?lingua=en&type=multimedia&id_multimedia=9 .

  • July 9, 2012, 5:34 a.m. CST

    The drug being harvested in I Come In Peace

    by cock smoker

    Didn't he shoot people up with heroin and then extract some chemical the human brain secreted while high? This was on TMC a few months back under title Dark Angel, will always be I Come In Peace in my book.

  • July 9, 2012, 5:36 a.m. CST

    Check out The Hidden, good cop vs alien story

    by cock smoker

    Kyle McLachlan and Michael Ontkean (pre Twin Peaks)...I think. Great ending.

  • July 9, 2012, 6:49 a.m. CST

    No Love for the Punisher

    by holer

    AICN always dumps on Tom Jane's Punisher, and it was a fun movie. I recently picked up Dolph's Punisher to complete my 'trilogy' and found it to be a very entertaining 80's action movie - very silly and over the top. My main gripe about AICN is the constant fanboy griping over what a property should be instead of accepting it for what it simply is. This guy wants to be Capone and he is no Capone.

  • July 9, 2012, 8:50 a.m. CST

    Vern would have done a better job with this article.

    by brokentusk

  • July 9, 2012, 8:52 a.m. CST

    solitaire

    by SayNoToRemakes

    Your assessment of I Come In Peace is spot on. I just saw the movie again last night after over 15 years and it was enjoyable as shit. The If this movie came out today it would be better than 70% of the crap being labled an action film. It's a film that doesnt try to do too much, has interesting ( and often times funny characters) and has Dolph kicking major ass. If you can't appreciate that then I can't help you.

  • July 9, 2012, 9:03 a.m. CST

    They picked the wrong person to review these films...

    by SayNoToRemakes

    ..and that is obvious. If the reviewer is referring to Benben when he described the " super-annoying sidekick whose comic relief is eye-gougingly inauthentic", then any review from this fellow should be summarily dismissed. Benben was probably the best part about this movie. And yes I am a big fan of this film in case you were wondering...

  • July 9, 2012, 10:05 a.m. CST

    I believe "I Come In Peace" was made just so that

    by malificus

    it could deliver the final catch phrase "Leave in pieces...". It's just that powerful.

  • I mean it's not like a Punisher film needs to be a big budget epic....and I loved Jeroen Krabbe in it and how he had to team up with a mafia leader to rescue his son. It was fine plotting.

  • July 9, 2012, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Cool it with the overuse of "literally."

    by Uga

    Especially since you don't seem to know what it means.

  • July 9, 2012, 12:36 p.m. CST

    I come in peace had quite a few memorable lines.

    by Stalkeye

    Such as; "What university did you graduate from"? "The university of Suck-my-Dick"! I come in Peeeaaacccee", Then You go in Pieces Asshole! And yes, The scene in which Dolph is preventing that Cable from going into his Skull in which he defiantly responds; "Fuck you, Spaceman"! Underated film and not to mention it had a bit of the miami Vice feel to it, most in part due to Jan Hammer's Soundtrack. Truly one of Dolph's best alongside SILT, Punisher and Silent Trigger. MOTU can fuck off.

  • July 9, 2012, 3:59 p.m. CST

    i agree with dogmatic and stalkeye

    by malificus

    Punisher was pretty damn good for it's day. I think he really captured the aspect of Frank Castle that was hopeless following the loss of his family. I Come in Peace was a classic action-er of it's day. Dolph rules.

  • July 9, 2012, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Col. Travis, another politically correct left-wing asshole

    by IronEagle74

    Okay yeah, maybe the propaganda was a bit over the top in the 1980's, but to suggest that it's somehow ridiculous to be anti-communist is more absurd than anything. Our Capitalist, constitutional republic in America may not be perfect, but it's a damn sight better than having to live under tyrannical rule of any kind. Then again, seems like that's where we're headed now too.

  • nm

  • July 9, 2012, 4:35 p.m. CST

    I Come In Peace IS GREAT

    by m_prevette

    A fine B movie that doesn't take itself seriously and is a hell of a goofball ride. LOVE IT

  • July 9, 2012, 7:57 p.m. CST

    People forget that...

    by SayNoToRemakes

    ...movies were created to as a distraction from everyday life. A way of escaping the mundane, ordinary and boring existence that is life for 99% of the human population. It was never meant to posit or solve the universe's most profound questions and mysteries. The way I see it, if you can entertain me by getting me to care about some fictional characters for 90mins of my life, then you have accomplished something. Sure it isnt Citizen Kane, or Gone with the fucking Wind, but I Come In Peace gets the job done.

  • Aug. 2, 2012, 7:19 p.m. CST

    I LOVED I COME IN PEACE!!!

    by Jared Parker

    i think it's lundgren's best film ever

  • Aug. 2, 2012, 7:21 p.m. CST

    he was also good in JOHNNY NEUMONIC as the psychotic andriod priest

    by Jared Parker

    he really can play a villain