Tuesday, 11 November 2008
QUEENS MESSENGER (2000)
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.