'The Killing Machine'
(Dolph Lundgren, David Lewis, Stefanie von Pfetten, Bo Svenson, Samantha Ferri, et al / DVD / R / 2010 / Anchor Bay Entertainment)
Overview: Action icon Dolph Lundgren (ROCKY IV) stars as Edward Genn, a divorced Vancouver father and investment broker who also happens to be the infamous KGB-trained assassin known as Icarus . But when his two worlds collide in a storm of bullets, bloodshed and betrayal by the Russian Mob, Icarus reloads for the most personal and punishing contract of his entire career.
DVD Verdict: As you would expect from a Dolph Lundgren film, 'The Killing Machine' (or 'Icarus', his character's title and the original title of the film) is crammed full of fast action, loud music, mindless violence, explosions, repulsive visions of gore, pointless sex scenes, mixed lovingly with some daft dialogue ("Who are you? ... I'm your executioner!"), bad lighting, and cardboard 'extras' acting!
That said, amazingly, it does have a very decent, semi-plausible plot to play by! I know, I couldn't believe it either, trust me! Maybe it's because Dolph directed this one, his fourth offical directing job since he took over the reins (albeit unexpectedly when the original director pulled out for another project) on 'The Defender.'
And so, that plot premise - well, Edward Genn (Lundgren) has a much darker secret than being a family man: he was also, once upon a day, a hitman for the Russian mob. Once known as a KGB assassin code name: Icarus, he tried to get out of the business, but it seems it's just not that easy.
Being guilt-tripped into working for the KGB on the side, away from his low-paying 9-5 city job, he undertakes mission after mission, killing whoever he is told it the target; getting paid VERY well in the process. But now. it seems HE is the Hit and the bad guys have targeted him for elimantion.
Cue his girlfriend getting blown up (literally!), his daughter getting kidnapped, and his poor unsuspecting ex-wife being dragged from A to B to C throughout the movie! 'The Killing Machine' features lots of gratuitous scenes of violence, blood and sex, and of course, handfuls of double crosses (the barn scene in particular - "Pass the fork, darling!") and hidden agendas.
If there was anything bad to say about this way-above-average B-Movie, it would be that Lundgren's spoken narrative that guides us along the way with him is a) un-needed, and b) so slowly, lightly spoken, that you get the impression the man was on Prozac at the time of recording it!
In the Special Feature Behind-The-Scenes featurette, Dolph doesn't call himself an Actor. He simply, and always calls himself an Action Star. And, terming this film always as a return to Film Noir, one has to think that somewhere inside Lundgren's mind, perhaps he views everything in Black & White. But, no matter what, he is still one of the most go-to specimen's of the so-called Action Star today - Noir or un-Noir'd! (RT) This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Behind-The-Scenes Featurette (23 mins.)