Friday, July 29, 2011
VANISHING POINT + HARD BOILED = ARMY OF ONE
Framed for the murder of his truck driving partner (Hey! Ken Foree is in this!) by two crooked cops, Lundgren escapes jail and seeks revenge on those responsible. For some dumb reason while on the run he kidnaps a woman and steals her truck in front of HUNDREDS OF POLICE! Yea, maybe the writing isn't that smart or maybe Lundgren's character is suppose to be really stupid on occasion. Anyway this turns into one long car chase until the end of the movie where we learn that the woman that was kidnapped is a cop and she learns that Lundgren is innocent.
Basically Lundgren and Foree drive big rigs that transport exotic cars for a local gangster named Shoeshines. The two crooked cops insure that the trucks pass through their district without being pulled over. Lundgren goes after Shoeshine where they both meet at a warehouse where Shoeshine keeps his exotic cars. Shoeshine brings along hundreds of goons. This is where the movie gets awesome. There is a really long gun battle where Lundgren shoots the crap out of everybody. Slow-mo shots are heavily used and the squibs explode with massive blood flow. The whole scene looks ripped off from the garage shoot out from HARD BOILED. Lundgren is unstoppable and lives up to the title of the movie.........I don't know, man. I got to say I think Lundgren was using some kind of cheat code. When he shoots his shotgun not one but up to three shots come out of it at once. You will see Lundgren shoot his shotgun and then the reaction shot is some poor bastard in a jump suit exploding three different times like the gun shot three blasts. When Lundgren shoots a pistol bullets fly out like a machine gun. It's kind of weird. And don't get me started on how his guns almost never seem to run out of ammo. The whole action scene is awesome and a rarity in most American action films. It's pretty good and it makes Lundgren look like a badass even though his character is just some driver that happens to be able to kill hundreds of guys. There is so much going on that I thought this was the end of the film but it wasn't. This was the halfway mark.
At times the writing is really good. Those times are when the two crooked cops (One played by George Segal) are bickering like a married couple. Geoffrey Lewis is also in this movie as the good guy sheriff. These kind of real actors keep the movie going. In a lot of low budget movies that tend to be filmed in Bulgaria because it's cheaper these supporting parts are filled with not so good actors. They have a hard time bring some kind of talent to the screen and keep things interesting. Good actors can make a mediocre movie better than what it should be. Some of the direction is really creative too. The opening shots of the desert are impressive and tricky.
If you are a fan of Lundgren or car chase shoot'em up too much to where you basically killed them twice before they hit the ground kind of movies then you should like this one. I think it's a pretty good little gem of a film. Hope you like it. How come this is on DVD and I COME IN PEACE isn't? Also why is this movie also called JOSHUA TREE? Give me a break. Let's not get all artsy-fartsy with the title, folks. It's a dumb action movie not a U2 album.