MOVIE: ** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5)
Dolph Lundgren as RYDER
John Enos III as JARFE
August Schellenberg as WHITE DEER
Studio: Sony Pictures
Directed by: Dolph Lundgren
BY KEVIN CARR
There is no doubt in my mind that Dolph Lundgren is one of the best movie badasses around. Not only did he make one hell of a smash debut as the villain in “Rocky IV,” he’s been a fun action star in lesser-known action flicks like “Universal Soldier,” “I Come in Peace,” “Red Scorpion” and “Showdown in Little Tokyo.”
While Lundgren is a solid on-screen hero, like his contemporary Sylvester Stallone, he’s also done his fair share of directing. His latest effort is the western homage “Missionary Man.”
No, it’s not the title of a new porn movie. Rather, it tells the story of a lone stranger who comes to a southwestern town to clean things up. The locals, which mostly consist of Indians on a failing reservation, are being strong-armed by a business owner who has his hands in all the illegal (and slightly illegal) activities. Lundgren, who has dealt with this type in the past, must fight them with words and eventually guns to save the town.
This film is a clear homage to the standard western story of a stranger riding into town to save the day. Instead of riding horses, they’re on motorcycles. The greedy landowner is represented by the businessman, and the gang of thugs emerge in the end as a biker gang.
Lundgren, who also wrote the script, takes things too seriously at times, but he evens the film out with plenty of action and shoot-em-up violence. Lundgren might be getting a little old, evidenced by the fact that he downplays the hand-to-hand combat in lieu of blood and bullets.
For your basic direct-to-video action flick, “Missionary Man” isn’t a waste. However, with all the blood and gunplay that deliver a hard R rating, I was expecting a little more in the skin department. Having had a chance to interview Lundgren about this film, I was assured that he would have more breasts in his next directorial effort.
The DVD comes with deleted scenes, which include an alternate opening and ending to the film.