Once again, world peace rests on the shoulders of monolith Dolph Lundgren. This is the kind of jingoistic drek in which filmmakers lovingly depict the blasting of Mt. Rushmore; on the other hand, that monument carved in muscles, Mr. Lundgren, escapes relatively unscathed.
Fearless Major Frank Cross (Dolph Lundgren) is pressured into a high-risk assignment: the US President (Roy Scheider) requires Cross's services as keeper of the "Black Bag," a briefcase that houses the launch codes for America's thermonuclear deterrents. Using high-tech espionage, terrorists
separate Cross from the nuclear capability case on his first day of work.
In a wild car chase that leads through parking garages and across several rooftops, Cross pursues the extremists to a missile facility. Inside, military personnel are gassed to death by the invaders; only one, Lt. Col. Northrop (Montel Williams) survives by donning a space suit. Cross and Northrop
team up to defeat the terrorists, who are led by renegade Lt. Colonel Murphy (Michael Sarrazin). Murphy bears a personal grudge against the President, who, as a general in the Gulf War, left special operative Murphy to die following a cancelled hit on Sadaam Hussein. Instead of the ransom money
his partners were planning on, Murphy wants the President to commit suicide on live television; to prove his seriousness, Murphy nukes Mt. Rushmore and then aims another missile at Washington DC Northrop and Cross battle Murphy's thugs while attempting to dismantle the nuclear arsenal. Decimating
the ranks of terrorists, Cross nabs Murphy and reobtains the launch code case, even as Murphy launches the second rocket. As Murphy plummets to his death from a rocket pad, Cross neutralizes the nuclear missile in flight.
In the annals of atomic scaremongering, radicals have played nuclear tag for profit, for power, and for political purposes. Never has any antagonist nuked 300 people and a national treasure to get even with a former commander. That unbelievable plot-hook is only the most preposterous element in
this eminently silly bomb-a-thon. Why, for instance, do the venal terrorists continue to pummel Cross after realizing their psychotic boss isn't interested in collecting a ransom for them? Tedious scene after scene of attempted bomb disarmament defuses any suspense.
In a large and unimpressive cast (which includes one-time Oscar nominee Roy Scheider), talk-show host Montel Williams shakes things up with some of the dynamism he exudes on TV.
However, THE PEACEKEEPER is awash in top-of-the-line special effects and rib-crunching martial arts; it's also energized by a spectacular chase across rooftops. These distracting destructive moments save THE PEACEKEEPER from its inherent idiocy. (Graphic violence, extreme profanity.)
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- Released: 1997
- Rating: R
- Review: Once again, world peace rests on the shoulders of monolith Dolph Lundgren. This is the kind of jingoistic drek in which filmmakers lovingly depict the blasting of Mt. Rushmore; on the other hand, that monument carved in muscles, Mr. Lundgren, escapes relat… (more)