3 out of 10
UK / China co-production
Release Date: 18th May 2015 (DVD Premiere)
Director: Eric Styles (Miss Conception / Relative Values / Dreaming of Joseph Lees)
Cast: Scott Adkins, Dolph Lundgren, Lydia Leonard, Yi Huang, Nathan Lee, Le Geng and James Lance
Writer: Andy Briggs
The makers of this action-sci-fi-horror-thriller oddly choose to match the tone of Xena-Warrior Princess or Buffy The Vampire Slayer. The vibe is colourful, ‘fun’ and bouncy not scary, dark or threatening. This is odd because its about a man-eating dragon creature that’s munching engineers at a dam in China. Dealy game-hunter Dolph Lundgren (THE EXPENDABLES) faces off against a bunch of eco-warriors led by Scott Adkins (UNDISPUTED 2). Let the battle commence.
Well, those waiting for a chop-socky showdown between the two well-known leads will be disappointed. I think Adkins slaps Lundgren’s face and that’s it. Dolph Lundgren has always been one of my favourite actors that tend to splash around at the dumb end of the filmmaking swimming pool. He’s a confident performer with an admittedly narrow range but he always delivers a competent performance which puts him ahead of the likes of his peers like Jean-Claude Van-Damme, Steven Seagal or even Jason Statham. Here he’s his usual jovial face and he must have been chuffed to find a film where he didn’t even have to fight or run. He just points a rifle at things and shoots them. He travels across some water in a boat at one point too. As for Scott Adkins, he’s been known to take some non-action roles in big films like Zero Dark Thirty and Holby City, and he can be caught being good on occasion. Sadly, Dolph’s given him all the crap lines as the boring good guy with a a giant goofy grin. He’s backed up a gang of dorks straight from one of said American early evening TV serials. They are made up of corny scientist (LYDIA LEONARD – ARCHIPELAGO), posh British dork (JAMES LANCE – NORTHERN SOUL) and cool Chinese dude (NATHAN LEE). The detection methods these guys use to try and outwit Dolph’s team of goons are embarrassing and sloppy. The plot races from one duff scenario to the next in the spirit of a sheltered ‘boys-own’ adventure. The monster isn’t even scary and the passable special effects cancel out any thrills owed. The end showdown with the beast is above average for a quickie like this – but there are weak attempts to telegraph a potential sequel which will make everybody’s toes curl. This has to be the cheesiest film Britpic has seen to date, yet it’s still not the worst by a long chalk.
3 out of 10 – An action film for naive teenagers and Dolph Lundgren completists only (they exist)!
Second review below
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Scott Adkins: Doctor Strange, Hard Target 2, Undisputed 4, Criminal (2016), Eliminators, Jarhead 3, Zero Tolerance, The Brothers Grimsby, Re-Kill, Ninja 2, The Legend of Hercules, Green Street 3, Universal Soldier 4, Zero Dark Thirty, The Expendables 2, Assassination Games, Undisputed 3, The Tournament, X Men: Wolverine, Undisputed 2, The Bourne Ultimatum, Eastenders (TV)
- Dolph Lundgren: Kindergarten Cop 2, War Pigs, Hail Caesar, The Expendables 3, Universal Soldier 4, The Expendables 2, One In The Chamber, Stash House, Small Apartments, In The Name of The King 2, The Expendables, Universal Soldier 3, Command Performance, Direct Contact, Diamond Dogs, Fat Slags, Johnny Mnemonic, Universal Soldier, Big Showdown In Little Tokyo, Dark Angel, Red Scorpion, The Punisher (1989), Masters of the Universe, Rocky IV, James Bond – A View To a Kill
- Lydia Leonard: Born of War, Archipelago
- James Lance: The Devil Went Down To Islington, Northern Soul, The Look of Love, Bel Ami, City Rats, Bronson, Marie Antoinette, Late Night Shopping