Sunday, September 20, 2015

In short: Storm Catcher (1999)

Major Jack Holloway (Dolph Lundgren), one of only two men able to fly a new-fangled experimental super stealth jet, is framed for the theft of said jet in the most ridiculous manner possible. When the people actually responsible for the deed violently break him out of a prison transport only to attempt to kill him afterwards themselves, Jack reacts a bit violently himself. Hunted by the authorities (not that they ever play much of role) and the bad guys, our hero tries to find out what’s really going on by shooting a lot of people.

Turns out, the whole thing is part of a planned military coup masterminded by Jack’s superior General Jacobs (Robert Miano), a guy evil enough to threaten the life of Jack’s little daughter. Clearly, violence is the answer to this one too.

As should be obvious, Storm Catcher isn’t the most clever of movies, but when the last Dolph Lundgren film one has seen was Agent Red (a film that just happens to cannibalize one of the scenes of this one), even the bad guys’ pretty fucking nonsensical plan to take control of the USA here sounds somewhat sensible, even though the whole “let’s frame Dolph!” angle seems rather pointless, particularly once they start to send out totally unsuspicious squads of well-armed soldiers to take him down. But hey, at least the film’s houses look like houses, its stealth jet is a stealth jet, and so on.

Plus, unlike Damien Lee and Jim Wynorski, Storm Catcher’s Anthony Hickox is a low budget movie pro who is at least always trying to make decent movie with the possibilities at hand. Given the script and the film’s budgetary limitations, Hickox does quite a fine job here too, putting more thought into adding something memorable to most of the film’s dramatic scenes (just look at the lighting and the not-throne our bad guy sits on in the final verbal confrontation between Dolph and Miano!). Of course, there’s also a bit of the mandatory low budget action movie weirdness, some dubious yet entertaining acting in the minor roles (the people playing the CIA agents are rather…special), as well as some moments when Hickox over-directs to near hilarity. In particular, the scene when Dolph brings his wife to the hospital is rather hilarious/cringe-inducing in its editing and sheer overblown camera work, but then, it certainly isn’t boring.

The action’s pretty okay too, with little that really sticks out. There’s a lot of serviceable, solid action that might not blow anyone away yet did satisfy me alright. Which is not the worst thing that can happen when you encounter a film starring The Dolph made during the 90s.

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