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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  Joshua Tree / Army of One (1993) « previous next »
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Author Topic: Joshua Tree / Army of One (1993)  (Read 1373 times)
Neville
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« on: July 05, 2012, 11:29:01 AM »



Plot: An escaped convict (Dolph Lundgren) kidnaps a female Sheriff deputy and flees through the California desert, all while trying to clear his name and fighting off the corrupt police officer who leads the manhunt.

Comments: A question that often came to my mind while watching this one is if Dolph Lundgren could ever start in a good film. I sort of answered myself when I had a flashback to that episode of "Futurama" where Bender wants to be a chef, but ultimately fails to produce anything remotely edible. He eventually receives an elixir from his master that can turn anything he cooks into... well, food. Sort of. At least stuff you could eat without dying. This film resembles Bender's cooking a lot. See, for starters Dolph is a non-entity, a vacuum of talent so big that sometimes I could swear his co-stars were delivering their lines into empty space rather than speaking to him.

But luckily for us, the film was directed by Vic Armstrong, one of Hollywood's top action directors, one often featuring as "Second Unit Director" of too many of our favourite blockbusters. Now, it would have been too much to ask that Armstrong had been paying attention to all those big shot directors while they dealt with stuff like plot continuity or the many nuances of acting, but he manages to throw in the movie so much preposterous stuff that the final product manages to be quite entertaining. Of course, we're definitely in B-Movie territory, so I'm not talking about drama or strong performances -apart from Lundgren, George Seagal is equally embarrasing to watch as a mustachoed corrupt cop - but rather of stuff like sweeping vistas of the desert, a co-star who is easy on the eyes (Kristian Alfonso), a long segment where Lundgren goes berserk on a bunch of oriental extras inside a warehouse, John Woo style, a decent chase involving obvious replicas of Ferrari F40 and Lamborghini supercars and too many embarrasing nods to Humphrey Bogart's "High Sierra", a film that you'd think Armstrong wouldn't want to compare with this one.

So in the end it ends up being good fun, and probably one of Lundgren's best movies, together there with "the good one" Punisher movie and "Silent Trigger". High cuisine? Certainly not, but hey, at least it's edible.

P.D: Apparently there are several versions of the film floating around. The unrated cut has, as expected, all the bloody bits left intact, but the R-Rated version has an extended finale where Lundgren gets to show off his fighting skills. Not that George Seagal is exactly a worthy contender, but...

Oh, and the original AR is panoramic, take that into account or you'll end up with one of those horrible Pan&Scan versions.



No, of course nobody will notice they're replicas...
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Archivist
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2012, 03:43:43 AM »

I believe that this is one of Dolph's best 90's movies.  I'm a huge fan of the original Punisher movie, too, and watched it endlessly back in the day.

Something that always stuck in my mind was the torso nudity of Kristian Alfonso when she has a shower.  What an amazing body, I thought.  A bit of gratuitous nudity never hurt a movie, either.  But when I looked at the credits, it was revealed that she had a body double by the name of Lisa Marie Stagno ... who I much later discovered is an adult video actress who goes by the name Crystal Blue.  Now there's a piece of trivia for you!
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Neville
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2012, 05:13:40 AM »

Interesting. I thought the shower bit was easily one of the most gratuitous I had ever seen, now I understand why.
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Jim H
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2012, 12:35:03 PM »

Quote
a vacuum of talent so big that sometimes I could swear his co-stars were delivering their lines into empty space rather than speaking to him.


Haw, great line.

But, Dolph has talent, it just apparently didn't come out in his acting.

Small | Large

 TeddyR

Silly.

He also displays a bit of talent as a director, as the films of his own he did are actually competently put together as far as straight-to-DVD action fodder goes.  I also think he's actually pretty amusing in some of his later roles, The Expendables in particular.

Army of One really is one of his best films though, for sure.  I think the big shootout that is towards the end of the film might be the best action scene he was ever in, it's genuinely really good.  Takes a lot from the HK films of the era, and that's a good thing in this case.  Wish there'd been more of those.  George Segal is one of the most ludicrous villains ever seen though.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 12:37:30 PM by Jim H » Logged
Neville
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2012, 12:47:37 PM »

I have to admit Lundgren's acting seems to have improved over the years. Not only he delivered on "The Expendables", but he was easily the best thing in both "Universal Soldier: Regeneration" and "The Final Inquiry". But here? I was surprised to see how bad he is.

BTW, great video. Saw it on Reddit some time ago, though.
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Jim H
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2012, 01:08:02 PM »

I have to admit Lundgren's acting seems to have improved over the years. Not only he delivered on "The Expendables", but he was easily the best thing in both "Universal Soldier: Regeneration" and "The Final Inquiry". But here? I was surprised to see how bad he is.

He really is awful in a lot of his early stuff, aside from maybe Rocky IV and Universal Soldier (OK, Universal Soldier he's entertainingly bad).  A number of "tough" actors I've noticed have improved as they age - Arnold, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, and especially Donnie Yen.  Something about getting older often sharpens acting ability.  Maybe more life experience to draw on?  Whatever, I never thought I'd see the day where I'd call JCVD and Donnie Yen good actors, but here we are. 

I bet Chuck Norris is still as wooden as a post though (we'll see in the Expendables 2), the only film he emotes even a little bit in I've seen is Hitman.
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Neville
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2012, 01:12:29 PM »

You really need to watch "The Final Enquiry". It's an hilaroius sword and sandal epic about some Roman soldier investigating the resurrection of Christ. Really. And it features Lundgren as his slave / army of one.
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Jim H
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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2012, 03:35:06 PM »

You really need to watch "The Final Enquiry". It's an hilaroius sword and sandal epic about some Roman soldier investigating the resurrection of Christ. Really. And it features Lundgren as his slave / army of one.

Features F. Murray Abraham, Max Von Sydow and Dolph Lundgren.  I'm in.  Added to my Netflix queue.  Thanks!
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