A Command Performance From Dolph Lundgren

Okay, so the title of this post is a bit misleading. Instead of Dolph Lundgren’s performance actually being commanding, it’s the name of this movie from 2009, which I heard about from my buddy Brian Warmoth. In truth, it’s not a great movie, though Lundgren does give one of the better performances in the movie. Maybe it’s because in addition to starring in the flick, he also co-wrote and directed it. The idea is that Dolph is a mysterious drummer named Joe in a band who is opening up for a pop diva named Venus for a concert requested by the Russian president and his daughters. Of course, he’s no normal man and this turns out to be no normal concert as a bunch of paramilitary guys burst in, kill about 200 people and take the president captive.

Once the bad guys show up, we do get treated to exactly what you expect from a movie like this: Dolph kicking ass, killing dudes and throwing quips like daggers. His first kill comes after he stumbles out of a bathroom where he was smoking weed only to be accosted by a man with a knife. Instead of getting stabbed, Dolph shoves a drum stick through the man’s skull and then says “Watch the hair dude.” A little bit later Dolph smashes a Gibson Les Paul over a man’s head. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to smash a guitar, but they are incredibly solid pieces of equipment, especially that guitar. Yowch.

Anyway, after that it gets a little boring/typical. Dolph teams up with the only surviving member of the president’s security detail, we learn that he doesn’t like guns because they kill people (do did that drum stick homey) and we find out that the bad guy isn’t in it for money but for revenge. The lack of quips and music related killings makes the second half of the movie comparably boring, which is too bad because I was having a pretty good time with it for the first half. Oh, also, the music that Dolph’s band plays is pretty good. I think I’d rather listen to their album than watch the movie again (and for the record, Dolph really is drumming, not just faking it, you can tell because they don’t do those lame “show a person sitting near an instrument and then close-up on their hands” shots, we see full-on Dolph rocking out).

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