Friday, 24 September 2010
The Killing Machine
THE KILLING MACHINE (aka ICARUS)
Directed by: Dolph Lundgren
Written by: Raul Inglis
Starring: Dolph Lundgren, Stephanie Von Pfetten, Bo Svenson
Dolph Lundgren continues his recent turn to starring and directing his own films with the by-the-numbers but rather decent The Killing Machine. Lundgren has always embraced his legacy as an action hero (unlike fellow stars Van Damme and Seagal who now often seem to be ashamed of what made them a success) and has been churning out some decent direct-to-DVD action pics. While The Killing Machine isn't quite as good as The Mechanik or Missionary Man, it's still a pleasingly violent and shotgun blazing action film that for the most part delivers the goods.
Unfortunately the story and set up are about as generic as they come, Lundgren being some kind of deadly assassin wanting to leave his violent life behind to spend more time with his estranged wife and daughter. Non-surprisingly his employers don't take too kindly to this, so kidnap his daughter meaning Lundgren has to go gunning for them. Action movie template 101. So yeah, pretty humdrum set up, that hits all the predictable beats and doesn't do doing anything we haven't seen a million times before. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, as the film's polished look and Lundgren's assured direction means The Killing Machine overcomes its shortcomings. Lundgren is always good and plays a more flawed character here than just a one dimensional action hero. He's getting better as a director as well the film nicely put together with a nice use of voice-over and the cast uniformly good.
Having been in the game for a while now, Lundgren also knows what makes good action and there is a decent amount on display. Nothing too over-the-top or intricate, more short and sharp bursts of action rather than big set-pieces, The Killing Machine dishes out bone crunching fights and some nicely staged firepower. There is a fierce shootout at a farm and Lundgren amps up the violence for fans of more hard edged action.
Nothing to set the action world on fire but considering it was shot in a mere 18 days one a tight budget The Killing Machine is still another entertaining action vehicle from the always watchable Lundgren.