The Killing Machine DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 6.5
Video 8.0
Audio 5.0
Special Features   N/A
Audio 5.5
Distributor: Icon
Running Time: 88
Classification:
 MA15+
Reviewer:
Simon Black

5.5


The Killing Machine

Though the glory days of Rocky IV, Universal Soldier and The Joshua Tree are far behind him, the years have been far kinder to Dolph Lundgren than certain of his action star ilk, and recent roles in Stallone’s The Expendables and Universal Soldier: Regeneration seem to indicate a well-deserved career resurgence.  Of sorts.  At any rate it’s still a pleasure watching him put the hurtin’ on an endless stream of anonymous bad buys and The Killing Machine, though by no means flawless, is another enjoyably frenetic vehicle for the underrated Swede.    

The film, which was also directed by big Dolph, sees him portraying a hitman tormented by memories of his KGB past.  His friends and family have no idea of either his shady past or the brutal manner in which he earns a crust, and in addition to being hunted by a cabal of Russian mobsters the musclebound Lundgren must continually make amends to his daughter for missing her school plays and the like.  Then his current girlfriend gets blown up by said mobsters.  Then he gets mad.  Revenge and much bloodshed ensues.  

Essentially True Lies meets Goldeneye done on the budget of The Blair Witch Project, The Killing Machine is a respectable and hard-working effort.  The jumpy camerawork becomes grating at times and the Region 4 edition is inferior to that released in the States, but fans of straight-to-DVD action fare won’t go far wrong with this outing.  Explosive in every sense, with above par production values and the most inappropriately-timed sex scene ever captured on celluloid.  Or digital, as it were.  Either way, it’s not bad, which is more than can be said about almost anything Steven Seagal’s released in the past decade. 

Audio & Video

Shot on digital, picture quality remains sharp throughout.  Lundgren is evidently of the Bourne Supremacy school of shaky, hand-held camerawork and about 12 cuts a second, but it works well within the context of the film overall.  The audio is something of a let down; though Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 English soundtracks are on offer the dialogue is occasionally muddy, and James Jandrisch’s suitably bombastic score is incessant to the point of becoming invasive. 

Special Features

Bare bones.  The Region 1 Anchor Bay edition comes with interviews, a trailer and a 22-minute ‘making of.’  Australian audiences didn’t get a sausage.  Overall this is another stingy effort from Icon, who seem to have a real aversion to actually giving fans their money’s worth, and the lacklustre package mars what is otherwise a solid and fun offering from one of the action world’s most underrated stars.






 
 



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