Soap star Antonio Sabato Jr. turns action hero in this tedious potboiler, which premiered on HBO, and was subsequently released to home video.
Criminals Molly (Amy Smart), Larry (Lochlyn Munro), Sam (Mike Mains) and their leader Johnny (Antonio Sabato Jr.) attempt a bank heist. Instead of the expected minor windfall of small bills, the group discovers that the bank holds millions of dollars, and is in fact a money-laundering operation
for Vietnamese crime boss Victor Phan (George Kee Cheung). Urged to leave by bank manager Jane (Shannon Lee), Johnny and his cohorts decide to ditch the robbery, and become involved in a shootout with the gangsters. They escape from the confrontation, but are tracked to their hideout. After
another gunfight with Phan's men, the thieves slip away to the home of a thug named Bulldog (William Zabka). Johnny tracks down Jane, who it is revealed is Phan's sex slave. They strike a bargain: Johnny promises not to kill Phan if Jane will tell him about Phan's next big score. Johnny and
company attack Phan and his sidekicks at a bar; in the process they are able to rob Phan, but the gangster winds up escaping. Later, at a biker bar where Johnny is purchasing passports for the group, Larry calls Phan and sells his comrades out for money. A biker overhears and gathers his own group
to take the money stolen from Phan. A brawl ensues and, as Johnny's gang tries to get away, Sam is shot dead. They head to a motel run by Johnny's friend Carlo (Antonio Sabato). There a final showdown occurs with Phan's gunmen. Larry reveals his call to Phan was a trick. Suddenly, the cash-hungry
Bulldog arrives, eager to take the money stolen from Phan. In the ensuing shoootout, Johnny kills Bulldog and Jane kills Phan. Molly, Larry, Jane and Johnny drive off, leaving Carlo with enough cash to renovate his motel.
At first glance, HIGH VOLTAGE appears to be another in the seemingly endless series of recent crime thrillers inspired by the work of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. This is one of the meagerest of the lot, with director Isaac Florentine (THE FIGHTER, DESERT KICKBOXER) delivering a number
of awfully choreographed fight sequences, accented by oddly disjunctive sound effects straight out of the "The Six Million Dollar Man."
The film includes quite a few ludicrous plot twists. One prime example occurs right after Sam's killing: Johnny and the remainder of the gang are running for their lives from Phan's gunmen, but pause for an instant so that a priest can join Molly and Sam's corpse in the holy bonds of matrimony(!).
The dialogue is patently dreadful, and performances can most kindly be described as campy. Sabato Jr., a veteran of "General Hospital," is as wooden as they come, and shows little promise for the future. His father, a veteran of several spaghetti westerns, makes a welcome supporting appearance as
the motel owner helped out by Johnny's gang. (Profanity, violence, sexual situations.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1997
- Rating: NR
- Review: Soap star Antonio Sabato Jr. turns action hero in this tedious potboiler, which premiered on HBO, and was subsequently released to home video. Criminals Molly (Amy Smart), Larry (Lochlyn Munro), Sam (Mike Mains) and their leader Johnny (Antonio Sabato Jr.… (more)