Tuesday, 25 August 2009


LETHAL (2005)

Directed by: Dustin Ricket
Written by: Jeff Wright & Robert Yap
Starring: Heather Marie Marsden, Lorenzo Lamas, Frank Zagarino, Mark Mortimer & Dan Southworth

Cheap, cheerful and lacking in all kinds of continuity, Lethal is a bare bones action flick that has nothing new to say, looks to have had no budget at all but provides a lot of action packed fun. The very sexy Heather Marie Marsden is deadly mercenary Sam Stewart who after much plot contrivance goes up against a Russian syndicate of arms smugglers who have kidnapped her sister and who want some top secret disc in exchange; which Sam now has in her possession. Cue lots of logic busting scenarios, bad guys hamming it up, shooting, fist fights and Marsden looking incredibly hot.

Reminiscent of loads of straight-to-video action flicks from the 1990s and starring a good few people from those types of flicks (Lamas, Zagarino), Lethal is an unpretentious, very silly but fun action ride. Cheap as chips it may be, the flick still zips along at a fast pace, Marsden is actually pretty good in her role and looks damn fine kicking bad guy butt, Lamas is a hoot as the Russian bad guy and there is a ton of over-the-top action. Poor Zagarino doesn’t fair too well and looks very tired (probably from making loads of movies like this), the awesome Dan Southworth (US Seals 2, Broken Path) isn’t in it enough and exits the movie far too quickly and hardened movie critics and action fans will no doubt not find much to like here.

But for the less cynical action fan, Lethal is harmless fun and has no pretensions about being anything else. Michael Worth (another 1990s action stalwart from Street Crimes and US Seals 2) coordinates all the action and fights and even pops up in a funny cameo as a nerdy security guard. Despite the ridiculousness of our heroine standing out in the wide open and managing to shoot every bad guy dead while they continually miss her (an action movie staple if there ever was one!) and the same stuntmen recycled for each new action scene, the action manages to be punchy, full of firepower, fast moving and most importantly: there is lots of it. Worth orchestrates some creative fight scenes and keeps the gun play flowing, meaning we are never far away from the next shoot-out or fight scene.

Take it for what it is and Lethal is an enjoyable ride. Made by some folks who obviously wanted to have a bit of fun and featuring many an action movie familiar face, Lethal is a hark back to the simple “lets shoot and blow up as much stuff as possible” video days of the 80s and 90s. Cool.

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