Director: Jesse V. Johnson
2013 | 95 Minutes | Rated R
“I’m gonna kill you next, sunshine.” – Tommy Wick
As a Dolph Lundgren movie completist I would see anything… and I mean ANYTHING he appears in but throw Steve Austin into the mix and The Package is a must see for any DTV action fan.
Tommy Wick (Steve Austin) is a combat veteran and enforcer for Big Doug, a Seattle mob boss. Tommy is asked to bring a package to The German (Dolph Lundgren), an international crime lord and killing machine, but soon Tommy finds himself tracked by relentless hit men and mercenaries and he must deliver the package at all costs.
I’m pretty biased, Dolph Lundgren being my favorite action star of all time and all, but I’m continually impressed with the characters that Dolph has been taking on in his later career. He is always a bad ass but he is rarely just a muscle bound bad ass. Dolph’s more recent roles have put him into some interesting situations with some equally interesting attire. The German is no different. Who says you can’t teach an old Dolph new tricks. But, while Dolph threatens to steal the show, Steve Austin is definitely the star.
Steve Austin is still Steve Austin but he seems to be getting better and better with each outing. His deadpan Texan delivery has a certain charm to it and his wrestling skills have translated well to the choreographed fight scenes of the DTV action movies. In short, he delivers one-liners and haymakers with the best of ‘em.
Darren Shahlavi is also in The Package as one of the assassins who are trying to track Tommy down. It’s always a treat to see this guy in action.
Last and most definitely least in this crowd is former UFC light heavyweight fighter Krzysztof Soszynski as one of the random henchmen. As fun as it is to see him here you can probably imagine his fate.
I’m very impressed with Jesse V. Johnson’s work here. I had seen one of his other directorial efforts in The Last Sentinel and, while I enjoyed it, it wasn’t exactly a masterpiece. With The Package he seems to be honing his craft more and more. He’s also a stunt man and stunt coordinator so he knows how to put together a coherent fight and also knows how to film it. I also appreciate that he doesn’t just force martial arts expertise onto every one of his characters simply because it looks cool. Tommy Wick, for example, does little more than shoot guns and throwing headbutts and huge hooking punches, not unlike what Stone Cold did in the ring (minus the stunners and beer). Darren Shahlavi’s character, on the other hand, is much more of the martial arts type. His fights are filled with fancy martial arts and spinning kicks. The action as a whole is smart, well planned, competently filmed and compact in scale.
Movies like The Package are exactly why I love the DTV action genre. You just never know what you are going to get. Sometimes you get stuck watching something you wished you hadn’t but sometimes you find the diamonds in the rough who actually know how to do action better than the big guys.