Action Movie Fanatix Review: Retrograde


In The Past…Lies Our Future

Starring: Dolph LundgrenGary Daniels

Director: Christopher Kulikowski

 2003  |  92 minutes  |  Rated R

 “You don’t have a future, Dalton” – Captain John Foster

I kept seeing Retrograde in the Red Box and put off renting it for quite a while.  I am a huge Dolph Lundgren fan and figured I would just wait to buy the movie at some point.  I think I also put it off because Dolph looks kind of like a futuristic firefighter on the cover.  I finally did buy it but now wish I had just Red Boxed it (other than the fact that I need it to complete the Dolph Lundgren anthology).

Captain John Foster (Dolph Lundgren) & his crew go back in time to attempt to find a cure for a virus that has ravaged the human race.  The cure happens to lie with a mildly attractive scientist who is on a ship with Gary Daniels’ character, Markus.  On the way back in time Dalton played by Joe Montana (no, not that Joe Montana) takes over the ship seeking to find the scientist & kill her.  Foster is looking to fix the future and Dalton wants to stop him.  The classic time travel dilemma.  That is really about all there is to the plot but the plot really isn’t my complaint.  It might have worked under better direction and with better special effects but we will never know.

What ruins this movie most for me is that it is a complete waste of action talent.  You have Dolph Lundgren & Gary Daniels in a movie together and they don’t fight each other or fight along side each other.  Markus doesn’t even fight anyone until late in the movie and when he does he comes across as a huge weakling.  You might as well have found any two random B-Movie actors to play these parts because the director doesn’t play to either of their strengths.

The acting all around is hokey and the special effects are SyFy movie bad.  The entire production seems half-assed and probably rushed.  One example is when Foster’s time travel ship is going down they resort to tilting and shaking the cameras (ala 1960s Star Trek).  I understand budget constraints but we have seen better from movies at a similar budgetary level.

Retrograde is really a waste of two of the greats of action cinema.  It is just a huge disappointment for me and I can’t in good conscience recommend it to anyone.