Monday, March 8, 2010

PM/Lorenzo Lamas Collaborations

C.I.A:Code Name Alexia (1992) *1/2

Cast: Lorenzo Lamas, Kathleen Kinmont, O.J Simpson ,Alex Cord

Directed by Joseph Merhi

CIA agent Lorenzo Lamas captures and reprograms mercenary Alexia (Kinmont) to help him take down a gang of terrorists after some type of microchip, along helping our hero is cop O.J Simpson (before the trial of the decade) and to ensure Kinmont’s resolve, Lamas and Co kidnap Kinmont’s daughter what takes place is the usual James Bond rip off but on a much lower level. CIA was somewhat popular due to the O.J Simpson trial and while this ensured that this mindless and dreary action flick flew off the shelves, it wasn’t worth the while. O.J Simpson is easily the best actor here which is pretty sad but despite the negativity towards Simpson, he was merely a lame actor as opposed to sheer awfulness which describes Lamas and Kinmont’s acting here. What is most bizarre is that at the time of this movie, Lamas and Kinmont were married and yet they had no chemistry. CIA is a very slow and unexciting spy movie, indeed it lacks the type of intrigue that one must need to make such a movie work. A final observation is the direction of Merhi, while Merhi crafted three of the very best straight to video action flicks of the 90s (Rage, Last Man Standing and The Sweeper) when it comes to a spy film he seems lost and doesn’t know how to put together a coherent plot with character development. It doesn’t help Lamas and Kinmont are extremely dull actors, but without the plot or indeed the scope for action the film just dwindles when it should crackle. However I don’t fault Merhi for the failure of CIA, because you can see in his directing that he has an eye for action and that he’s just the wrong man for the job. Indeed the spy film is hard to pull off and although Merhi gives it all, the main problem is that his characters are uninteresting and the action is too infrequent. I also think that had two better actors had been chosen, the gray area of Lamas’ character might’ve added some much needed to depth, but Lamas is just not the right guy for such a job. All in all CIA is an extremely weak rip off of James Bond movies and reserved only for die hard Lamas/Kinmont/Simpson fans. Merhi thankfully rebounded with Rage which far exceeds this dud.

C.I.A II: Target Alexia (1994) *1/2

Cast: Lorenzo Lamas, Kathleen Kinmont, John Savage

Directed by Lorenzo Lamas

The same mixture as before although this time at least John Savage is there to make this not quite as boring as the original. Once again terrorists threaten our country and Lamas and Kinmont go into action to fight against Savage who is also Kinmont’s former lover, like the first film it is dreary, unimaginative and dull but John Savage at least provides some relief from the film’s interminable tedium. John Savage is a genuinely good actor who for some reason never had a career he should’ve had in Hollywood, indeed he deserves better than being ridiculous villains in Lorenzo Lamas movies. However the enigma one ponders given the look of legit parts in various big projects, if Savage is not unlike his Deer Hunter co-star Christopher Walken, in that he just likes to work no matter the quality, it has to be because I can’t imagine what would lead an actor of Savage’s status to think this and Red Scorpion 2 are worthwhile of his talents. Savage as you can guess is the film’s only redeeming quality as his presence blows Lamas and Kinmont out of the water. Indeed even in roles where Savage’s heart isn’t in it, he’s better than Lamas on his best day. As for CIA II, Lamas’ directing is somewhat competent but he has no idea on how to film interesting scenes of dialogue nor does he know how to make the action more than just semi-competent. CIA II is pretty poor stuff all around but if you really like Lorenzo Lamas, John Savage and Kathleen Kinmont there maybe something for you here, but I assure this won’t be the highlight of their careers.

Final Impact (1992) *1/2

Cast:Lorenzo Lamas, Kathleen Kinmont, Mike Worth, Jeff Langton

Directed by Joseph Merhi, Stephen Smoke

Lorenzo Lamas goes the Mr. Myiagi route in an attempt to avenge his brutal defeat at the hands of viscous kickboxer Langton in a dull rip off of Kickboxer 2 and Best Of The Best. Indeed it is in that formula in which a mentor trains a kickboxer to avenge his niece, of course where as Sasha Mitchell is a decent enough actor with charisma, Lorenzo Lamas is just grimy looking and unappealing. Actually of the two films Kickboxer 2 is by far your better bet, mainly because this film screws up the premise and makes a complete boring mishmash of clich├ęd training montages and dull fight sequences. Actually Lorenzo Lamas only has one fight sequence as he plays the mentor to Mike Worth, and Lamas’ character is so unlikable that he loses his fight and dies before he can see his student kick ass in the ring. Indeed the biggest problem I had with Final Impact is the same problem I had with American Kickboxer 1 (which was actually better) in that the hero was unlikable, the film spent too much time on the uninspired subplots (such as Lamas’ jealousy over Kinmont and Worth) and the overall fact that the film isn’t sure if it’s about Lamas’ version of The Karate Kid or if it’s his version of Kickboxer 2, whatever the case the overall final product doesn’t work and the film doesn’t have enough action in the fight arena. Even more disappointing is that these action sequences are tremendously unexciting.

No comments:

Post a Comment