Welcome to another Two Brothers Review. For the uninitiated, this column is a co-production by me, Andrew Young, and my brother Nathan. I write a full review and then Nathan gives his thoughts at the end. So what do the two of us review? Movies, of course. Sometimes we watch a film and we both have the urge to say something about it. Sometimes, we bash the crap out of a film until it begs for mercy. Then we bash it some more. Other times, we find ourselves morbidly obsessed with a movie and have to dissect it. Either way, we’re here to talk about a movie so please, read on.
Back near the beginning of the year, My brother and I got the chance to watch a film called The Package. It was a goofy, subpar action flick that starred Dolph Lundgren and STONE COLD Steve Austin. The movie was nothing special…..but it was fun. If you go back and take a look at our review, while we’re hard on The Package, we never destroy it as we both agreed that it was funny and even interesting at points. Was it a film worthy of the average movie goer’s time. That all depends on your feelings regarding cheesy action films. So after a multitude of sucky films we’ve reviewed for this column, I get a copy of Ambushed, a crime movie starring Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture and Vinne Jones. My first thought out of the gate is maybe this will be another Package. I could live that. So I sat down with Nathan in front of the big screen with hopes of a fun and idiotic adventure. Well, I got the idiotic part right.
Once again, marketing rears it’s ugly head and uses the old “bait and switch” scheme. Lundgren, Couture and Jones are all in the movie….for about a third of it. In Vinnie’s case, it’s more like 10 minutes. For the majority of the picture we get to watch the long and harrowing story of Frank and Eddie (played by Daniel Bonjour and Gianni Capaldi), two drug runners who decide to up their game, eliminate their middle man and become the direct distributor for notorious, international cocaine smuggler Vincent Camastra (Jones). This move brings the heat down on them and starts a chain of events that involve a dirty, junkie cop (Couture) and a federal investigation headed up by a DEA Agent who’s ready to close in (Lundgren). There’s fights, killing, shoot outs and women……and it’s the most boring film I’ve seen in the past 6 months. It’s filled with bland dialogue and scenes where nothing happens. It breaks the cardinal rule of schlocky action movies: It takes itself TOO seriously.
When screenwriter Agustin sat down to write Ambushed, I feel he had dreams of this being a Michael Mann film with sweeping shots and academy award winning actors. Who cares if the story didn’t make much sence because this film was going to be about the characters. They would be deep souls who wanted more in life than what they were getting. Frank would have fantasies of a happy, simple life with the girl of his dreams (played by Cinthya Bornachelli….don’t worry, I didn’t recognize the name either) after making his fortune from his nightclubs, his women and his drugs. DEA Agent Maxwell would have similar dreams of the simple life with the only thing standing in his way being this one drug empire. Agustin hoped for a world where a poetic action film like his could find peace. Well, instead of a high drama, classy crime thriller with A-List stars, Ambushed got just the attention it deserved from Hollywood and became an unispired Direct-to-Video offering filled with has-beens and no-names. The sad part is that if director Giorgio Serafini took a look at the tools at his disposal (a low budget crime script, a couple of notable names, some unknowns) and built something that was fun and fast paced out of it, the flowery dialogue would’ve been forgivable. But instead, he provides this very slow film with a few scenes that feature action and brief moments of interesting performance. And not a lot is said to move the plot along, at least not in the scenes. No, we get voice over narration. The weird thing is that it isn’t dropped into these long scenes where nothing’s going on. No, the narration is given it’s own set of scenes where Frank just drives around and talks about how he wants the best for his girlfriend and how drug smuggling is how he’s going to get it for her. We then cut back to the DEA making their case. Instead of hard hitting, gritty police work, we get a very insecure Lundgren talking to his “under cover agent” girlfriend about how he’s afraid their relationship will fall apart because she’s making out with chicks on the job. Then it’s back to car talk where Frank is dreaming of owning the entire drug operation. The second act is a mess of disjointed scenes like the ones I just described.
The one chance Ambushed had at being at least a little entertaining was to have stand out performances. Unfortunately, this film can’t even get that right. There’s a reason why you have never heard of the film’s “star”, Daniel Bonjour. It’s the same reason why he wasn’t used in any of the marketing. He’s terrible. His partner, Gianni Capaldi who plays Eddie, isn’t much better. Even if Gianni was actually good, it would be hard to take him seriously because he looks like David Schwimmer and doesn’t suit his Scottish accent. Lundgren, who usually shines in low budget actions, looks bored and confused for his entire screen time. Vinnie Jones is just Vinnie Jones and doesn’t really have much to do. The biggest offender in the acting department is Randy Couture. Couture has never and will never be a good actor. Usually, directors get this and make sure to cast him in a part that suits his abilities. Serafini apparently didn’t get the memo as he put Randy as the main antagonist for the third act, a drug addicted, wildcard cop who’s suppose to be out of control. I guess in Couture’s eyes, showing little to no emotion or facial expression and fighting like a geriatric is the best way to represent this. Add to this the unispired fight scenes near the beginning and end and a whole 10 minutes devoted to the two main characters reliving their favourite Looney Tunes cartoons and you’ve got the makings of a clusterfuck of a movie.
While I enjoy cheesy action films, Ambushed doesn’t fit the bill. It never winks at the camera and is too self indulgent to be any fun. If you want to have fun with a stupid action movie, go rent The Package instead.
So that’s my review of Ambushed. Now it’s time for Nathan to speak his mind. Printed below are direct quotes from him made during and after watching Ambushed. His opinions and thoughts do not reflect Geek Hard or its associates, but I thought that they should be printed to provide an honest movie-goer’s take on the film. Some of his comments may be seen as offensive. Others might not make sense at all. I have included them all to paint the picture of his thoughts and feelings on this film. Read on.
Looney Toons Talk, Prentzels and Farms, you’re gonna love this movie!
I’m missing Stone Cold, so far we only got the Juggarnaut and the Scorpion King…..Part 2
“Hey we’re really old, instead of parkour, can we just run down the stairs really fast because we’re old? How ’bout we just climb down ladders real quick?”
Every time someone watches this movie, your grandmother dies horrifically. But it’s okay, no one will want to watch this movie, so your grandma’s safe.
Don’t show this movie to your grandma because she might get shot in the face by the Scorpion King.
Dolph Lungren eating soup in a car…..we need more scenes like that. You can tell he likes soup.
You know you’re Christian when you’re eating a prenzel.
Our lives are too different. I want to live in a prentzel world and you just wanna farm.
Most of the scenes looked like new shows for MTV – Car Talk, Chick Talk in Bed. Looney Toon Talk.
This movie’s bad but it reminds us how good Gattaca was and how bad Beautiful Wave was……and they travel by seagul!
“Hey listen, we both wanna do MMA here, so we’ll just drop the guns on the ground, you can cut to Thor shooting lightning in the sky, and then back to us fighting on the ground. Sound Good?”
There’s a hidden message about the importance of farming. I’m serious. Two characters dream of owning farms……but they’re both bad guys. So does that mean that farms are bad?
The bad guy’s still alive at the end. Is there going to be a sequel? Will it start with him on a farm?
Why does the Juggernaut dissapear in the middle of the movie? He just throws more drugs at them and is gone.
For some reason this guy is always doing narration while he’s in his car. But he’s a trained professional. Whatever you do, please, don’t narrate and drive.
“So were gonna shoot this film with a lot of shakey cam wide shots to make it look like we shouldn’t be shooting a movie, but we’ll slick it up with transitions of black lines coming in and splitting the screen in two. It’ll look shitastic!
Hogwash, that’s what this is!
A part of me died a little watching this one. Dolph Lungren didn’t even cook anything.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!