Yeah, I know it's been a while since my last review... so I figured what better way to jump back into the deep end of shitty cinema than by browsing the extensive Dolph Lundgren collection.
Finland's number one son never fails to deliver... especially when we order up one of the worst piles of shit put on screen. Throughout this and every other movie Dolph stars in he still has that uncanny ability to keep a straight face for 90 plus minutes. I guess it's called acting. Or a paycheck?
Dolph's latest endeavor is the sci-fi epic Retrograde. The giant Norwegian plays John Foster, leader of a team of men and women who are genetically enhanced... and from the future (bad movie knight rule #1... if the budget for your film is under $10,000 avoid setting said movie in any place or time that isn't a few blocks from your present day house) on a mission to save the Earth (Earth of the future) from a deadly virus. Let me simplify the plot for you. Take 12 Monkeys... remove the story, script, direction, actors, acting, food and beverage service, and anything else that made it a great film... and you have Retrograde.
Foster and his team travel back in time to prevent a research vessel in our time from discovering a meteor in Antarctica that carries the virus that will eventually kill everyone. Of course the trip hits a snag when one of his team members, Dalton (played by Joe Montana... I know I thought this was a huge score when his name was in the credits, but instead of seeing a Hall of Fame Quarterback in a shitty movie, we are just left with a shitty actor in a shitty movie) tries to mutiny and stop Foster's mission for his own greed... not sure how much profit there is in letting everyone on Earth die... but hey, bio-terrorist / entrepreneur I am not. So the future ship / time machine crash lands in Antartica, precariously close to where the research vessel is exploring.... actually unearthing the meteor they were attempting to prevent from being found.... hmmmmmm.
Perhaps the greatest thing about Retrograde is the relationship between Schrader, (played by the brilliantly awful Joe Sagal) the rich business man who chartered the vessel, and Captain Davis ( portrayed by the equally terrible Ken Samuels), the man in charge of piloting the ship. For no apparent reason, these two characters hate one another. The dialogue and acting when the pair are on screen together is nothing short of fantastic. Sagal, is one of those actors who looks as though he's uncertain where is hands should go when he speaks, so they fall uncomfortably at his sides at all times as he rapidly spits out his lines. Davis and Schrader bark at each other throughout, and continously remind each other (and us) who chartered the ship... and who's in charge of the ship.
After the crash, Foster is brough on board by an away team of sorts, who also manage to recover some of the virus carrying meteor. Awaking from a brief coma, Foster begins to salvage his mission by taking out the research vessels infected crew and also battling with the mutineers from his space craft that manage to find their way on board.
As age has apparently caught up with the Austrian Kickboxer, Dolph's fight scene's are no longer the glorious battles we once viewed in Universal Soldier and The Punisher but now resemble the stunt man replaced fights of a fat, aging Steven Seagal... but to Dolph's credit, at least he still does his own fight scenes... or they couldn't find a 7 foot tall Dutch man to replace him.
Some of the finer points of Retrograde include the costumes of the future, where the privileged apparently get to wear the finest in motorcycle racing gear. Retrograde also made note of an unknown geological fact that Antarctica is actually not covered in ice and snow, but rather generously blanketed in fine beachfront sand. As with just about everyone of Dolph's cinematic masterpieces, he is once again in class by himself when it comes to acting... forever embracing the Ironside Agenda.
To this day, I'm amazed that I haven't appeared in one his films. There is still time... because while Dolph Lundgren is still alive... he will continue to spray high definition shit in your eyes.
Hamlin Grade: 6.5
Timothy Dalton is the one true James Bond,