A plausible script and attractive cast keep this made-for-video thriller, about a madman who designs killer diseases so that he can sell the cures, a cut above most of the genre.
Professional bodyguard Ken Conway (Matt McColm) accepts an assignment from his former fiancee Marisa (Annabel Schofield). The biological research company she works for wants to know why the competing firm owned by Dr. Ramsey Krago (Ron Perlman) is always first in line with vaccines for new
viruses. After investigating Krago and his assistant Sloane Matthews (Morgan Brittany), Conway correctly surmises that Krago is manufacturing viruses so that he can get lucrative government grants to develop vaccines. Conway infiltrates Krago's office and downloads information about a virus from
his computer. When Krago discovers this, he infects Conway by injecting him with Ferris, a new virus he has developed. Taken to a government hospital by FBI Agent Monica McBride (Carol Alt), who has been monitoring Krago, Conway learns he will die within 48 hours unless he can get the vaccine from
Krago's island research facility.
Grief-stricken (especially after she finds that she had deserted him at the altar based on a false assumption), Marisa makes love to Conway so that she will become infected too, tying her destiny to his. Conway and McBride take a boat to Krago's island and, battling his guards, enter the research
lab. Starting to feel the effects of the virus, Conway accepts an offer from Matthews; he'll get the vaccine if he takes out Krago, leaving Matthews in charge. Krago holds Conway at bay by threatening Marisa, whom he has kidnapped (and given the vaccine). In a shoot-out, Krago and Matthews are
killed, and Conway and Marisa escape just before the island lab is destroyed.
BODY ARMOR (the title is meaningless) was directed by Jack Gill, formerly a stunt director on such films as VOLCANO (1997) and THE ROCK (1996). So it's a little surprising that the stunt work isn't the highlight of this film. Perhaps experience taught Gill that stunts alone don't make a
film--especially when you don't have the budget for spectacular ones. So he spaces his explosions and punch-outs throughout a story which, while no candidate for the Pulitzer Prize, keeps you involved. The cast is better than average for this level of filmmaking, with Ron Perlman an effective
smirking villain and Clint Howard good comic relief as the hero's worried accountant. Star Matt McColm is sufficiently athletic and hunky, with only a bit of the smugness that mars the performances of too many action stars. (They should all take a lesson from Jackie Chan: when you're the best,
it's not becoming to act like you know it.) The only major glitch is the most ill-motivated sex scenes in recent memory, with love interest Annabel Schofield looking to catch her beau's illness; romance has its limits. (Violence, nudity, sexual situations, adult situations, profanity.)
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- Released: 1996
- Rating: R
- Review: A plausible script and attractive cast keep this made-for-video thriller, about a madman who designs killer diseases so that he can sell the cures, a cut above most of the genre. Professional bodyguard Ken Conway (Matt McColm) accepts an assignment from… (more)