Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Queen's Messenger


Directed by: Mark Roper
Screenplay: Harry Alan Towers & Peter Jobin
Starring: Gary Daniels, Teresa Sherrer & David Westhead

Low budget James Bond type adventure that’s high on action but not much else. Lumbered with a by the numbers plot, lethargic action sequences and an alarming amount of unconvincing accents, this Gary Daniels vehicle never really had a chance. The constant referencing to his character being British (using well worn phrases such as crumpet when referencing a hot woman or 2-nil after killing two bad guys: yeah, cause us Brits talk like this all the time) becomes irritating and laughable. We know he’s British and that he’s a British secret agent/commando person, stop ramming it down our throats. Daniels is in fact British but the filmmakers have made him sound less so, his voice even dubbed on occasion. So they are making a British action movie about a British super commando but have made him sound less British than he usually does so he as has to use a bunch of stereotypical slogans and phrases to convince the international market he is British? Brilliant.

On top of all this the pace is really slow despite the makers packing in a lot of action. But apart from one nifty action scene near the end the stunts and gunplay never really ignite, which is surprising as director Mark Roper usually makes fun and lively low budget action films (Warhead, Operation Delta Force 3). Daniels has a couple of fun fights and the action is certainly ambitious in scope (not least a chase/duel between some armoured vehicles) but is put together in such a momentum deadening way the thrills just aren’t there. It’s a shame as Queen’s Messenger should have been a fun little action romp but is unfortunately another dull, Eastern European shot, let’s stop a bunch of terrorists blowing something up, direct to video affair that now no doubt clogs up various low rent cable channels.

Gary Daniels was always one of the better 1990s action stars it’s just Queen’s Messenger isn’t one of his better vehicles. Check out Cold Harvest, Recoil and Bloodmoon for some quality Daniels action entertainment.


Richard Hawes said...

This movie was a dissapointment. Shame Union Jack never got off the ground too. However, Queen's Messenger 2 aka Witness To A Kill was an improvement. There have been a lot of fun Bond-inspired action movies. I recommend Operation cobra with Don Wilson and Doomsday with Joe Lara.

Ross said...

Queens Messenger 2 is also known as Diamond Cut Diamond.

Direct to Video Connoisseur said...

I guess as a Yank the constant Brit comments were more a novelty than annoying, but hearing it from your end I can see how it would irk you. I should say that I watched a Stoke City football game at a bar on TV here in my home town, and a vacationing family of Stoke fans were watching it with me, and one of them corrected me when I said the score was "two-zero", letting me know it was "two-nil". As far as the movie goes, I'm in agreement on the action-- or lack thereof.