They Thought He Was Dead. They Were Dead Wrong.
Starring: Dolph Lundgren, Michael Pare, Gina May, Bashar Rashal, James Chalke
Director: Danny Lerner
2008 | 90 Minutes | Rated R
“Well, sounds like a real good offer. I think I have a better one. How about Fuck You! – Mike Riggins
I’ve been on something of a Dolph Lundgren kick as of late. I guess I kind of always am. But being on a Dolph Lundgren kick sure beats getting kicked by Dolph Lundgren, am I right!?! Sorry…
Mike Riggins (Dolph Lundgren) is an ex-U.S. Special Forces operative imprisoned in Russia for weapon smuggling. A U.S. agent Connelly (Michael Pare) offers to get him out of prison if he can rescue an American woman, Ana Robins (Gina May) who had been abducted by a Russian mobster. Of course, once Ana in his custody he realizes that he wasn’t told the entire story by the supposed government agent.
It’s the type of story we have seen too many times to count, even just as we look through Dolph Lundgren’s filmography. Government agent/assassin/cop/fill in the blank given an assignment only to find out that he wasn’t told the entire story. Hero finds a conscience and fights back. Girl falls in love with him. Big fight. End. It has been done so many times because it works but it tends to feel like a rehash unless something truly original is done. Direct Contact doesn’t do much original.
Direct Contact feels lower budget than some of Dolph’s other releases. It’s like a really high quality, high violence TV movie. More than anything I think it is the stock music score that feels cheaper than anything else. And because of the limited amount of dialogue we are forced to listen to a stock orchestral score through some really good action scenes and some really bad car chases. If Direct Contact had a better, more original score it would have changed the entire feeling of the film.
The action is well done, allowing Dolph Lundgren to use his big-man martial arts skills as well as blow sumbitches away with 9mms and AKs. Danny Lerner lets Dolph do what Dolph does best… kick ass.
The chases on the other hand are just a complete mess. Everything that could be wrong about them is. Some parts look too slow. Some parts look like they are sped up. We get some blurry camera shots. People fall off their motorcycles for apparently no reason. I could go on and on. It’s all poorly done and never makes a lick of sense.
There is also a very large sign during one of these chases that shows a .bg website. This tells me that either the movie crossed into Bulgaria from Russia without telling the viewer or, more likely, it was filmed in Bulgaria, not Russia, and the director didn’t think it was a big enough deal to cut that part out.
Gina May’s Ana Robins/Gale is horrible. Her acting sucks and her portrayal of the character is downright annoying. Lucky for her Riggins was getting paid to deliver her alive otherwise he probably woulda just offed her so he didn’t have to listen to her anymore. She’s cute enough to pull off the role but every time she opens her mouth she ruins it.
The final scene really made the movie for me. It had a great location; a probably cold war era building which is now burning after the bad guys lit it up with RPGs. The best kills of the movie happen here too. I don’t want to ruin anything but it is a final fight done right. And at the end of it they literally drive of into the sunset.
Direct Contact has enough really good things to keep it pretty high up on my list of Dolph Lundgren movies. It also has enough really wrong with it to keep it from being at the very top. I’m definitely glad to own it but I definitely don’t watch it as much as The Punisher, Red Scorpion or Army of One.
One other thing I found funny was as I was watching the credits, the character named Vlado is played by a guy named Vladimir Vladimirov. Wow!