Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Peacekeeper(1997)* * * 1/2

Cast: Dolph Lundgren, Roy Scheider, Michael Sarrazin, Montel Williams, Monika Schnarre

Directed by Frederic Forrest

Die Hard in a nuclear silo is the best way to describe what is ultimately the best direct to video Dolph Lundgren movie and direct to video Die Hard clone ever made (which admittedly doesn’t say much) The Peacekeeper actually doesn’t go the Die Hard route at first, as this actually revolves around Dolph Lundgren actually infiltrating terrorists (who are mercenaries) and the first 30 minutes or so revolve around Dolph trying to get the brief case with the nuclear launch codes back, after terrorists attack him in his hotel room. The film yields some suspenseful moments, especially when Dolph tries to disarm the nuclear weapons by hand. Also the fight sequences, shoot outs and the car chases going across various apartment roofs all are expertly staged. Also Dolph is much more into the proceedings than usual, while Roy Scheider and Michael Sarrazin bring life to the moments of back to back negotiations which have to do with a personal vendetta in desert storm. The Peacekeeper than works because it’s always fun to see the Die Hard premise done well and in this case, the finale with Lundgren running in slow motion while seconds tick down are suspenseful despite knowing that Dolph Lundgren will succeed. Indeed the only real flaw is Montel Williams’ performance that is hilariously out of place and who speaks in ridiculous Zen philosophies about this somehow being part of god’s big plan. That minor silliness aside, The Peacekeeper keeps the action and suspense coming at a brisk pace and this is what ultimately makes this movie so effective. You really don’t see straight to video efforts get this good.

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