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The Killing Machine - Blu-ray Review

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The Killing Machine - Blu-ray Review

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3

Fresh from surviving The Expendables with Sylvester Stallone and his assembled wrecking crew, Dolph Lundgren quickly returns to the action genre only to direct himself in a revenge-styled flick that’s a nasty little number in its own right.  This isn’t the freshest of flicks, but it also doesn’t suffer from being familiar.  The plot is certainly cookie-cutter and its action is hard-nosed, but The Killing Machine manages to (just barely) survive on a plot that double-crosses in on itself and the viewer.

Edward Glenn (Lundgren) is feeling the corner his profession as a hitman has put him in.  His family has fallen apart and his young daughter is slowly growing away from him.  He tries to juggle a girlfriend and family matters, but the fact of his mysterious past keeps him from being committed in any real manner…out of fear for the safety of those around him.  Once known as KGB Special Agent known as Icarus, Glenn finds the time to run has ended and now, with the support of his ex-wife, he must kick some ass.

Written by Raul Inglis, The Killing Machine doesn’t do wonders for the genre, but it does go a couple of rounds with the best of its genre and manages to hold its own weight.  It has plenty of B-movie tags and moments of suspense and action staging that keeps it afloat among the dark waters of the Direct-to-DVD market.

To be honest, this was made entirely to showcase Lundgren’s ability to kill a ton of henchmen.  It’s a bloody and intense affair.  He’s a square-jawed cougar throughout this fast-paced film; loving some ladies (as hokey as some of the love-making scenes are) and kicking some ass.  His gruffness extends to his mastering of the English language.  At times, it’s uncertain exactly to what he’s saying; context reigns supreme here.

The choreography of the many fight scenes is excellent and not overly edited to make the action incomprehensible.  Plenty of blood and guts fly out of bodies and toward the screen making this bloody film a welcomed and hard-earned R rating.  In one scene, faceless bad guy number 430 gets his head staked clean-through by a curling bar.  Yet, the hand-to-hand action quickly whittles away to hallway bullet dodging and gun battles.

However engaging the film might be, there is a bit of a disappointment in the film’s attempt to add meaning with a “Life is about choices” voice-over (provided by Lundgren) and some heavy-handed use of slow motion throughout the picture.  The Killing Machine is a three-fingered pitch toward the type of films that made his career happen in the first place.  It isn’t gentle nor is it kind; it’s a haggard beast that will keep Lundgren exactly where he is and where he belongs: B-movie second-tier action star.

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{2jtab: Film Details}

The Killing Machine - Blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: R for graphic violence, profanity, sexual situations.
Director
: Dolph Lundgren
Writer
: Raul Inglis
Cast:
Dolph Lundgren; Stefanie von Pfetten; Samantha Ferris; David Lewis; Lindsay Maxwell
Genre
: Action | Drama | Thriller
Tagline: They wouldn't let him quit.
Memorable Movie Quote: "That's the funny thing about fate... if you don't follow, it will drag you where it wants to go."
Distributor:
Anchor Bay Films
Official Site:
Release Date:
No wide theatrical release
Blu-ray Release Date:
February 2011

Synopsis: Dolph Lundgren is The Killing Machine -- directed by and starring Dolph Lundgren -- is a tale about flying too close to danger and what happens when you get burned.

The Killing Machine is the story of Edward Genn (Lundgren) -- a Soviet-era sleeper agent and trained assassin living in America. Working under the code name "Icarus," Edward is stealthy and fearless: cloaked within the shadows, the ability to kill with extreme discretion his specialty. But times have changed, the borders of Europe have been redrawn...and Edward is ready to break with his dark past.

With a new identity, Edward is prepared to distance himself from the world of assignations and assassinations; he is ready to re-introduce himself to his wife and daughter. Edward may be determined to forget, but there are others who still remember Icarus, The Killing Machine...and they will do anything to destroy him. Dolph Lundgren Is The Killing Machine is the story of a man defending his future against his sinister past. Ready for a life of peace, Edward has one more battle to fight.

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{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

The Killing Machine - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
3 Stars

1 stars



Blu-ray Experience
2 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - June 21, 2011
Screen Formats: 2.35;1
Subtitles
: None
Audio:
English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)

Shot on video and made in just 18 days, The Killing Machine’s transfer shows its budgetary limitations. The colors are saturated and, occasionally, the skin tones are a bit too orange. The film has a made-for-television look about it that the HD only highlights in the quieter and cheesier moments. Supplied with a DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack, the disc’s sound seems to be a bit front heavy making the dialogue hard to understand at times.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

  • None

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