This stylish but empty thriller gives square-jawed Dolph Lundgren another shot at straight-to-video immortality, as he plays a professional hit man whose sudden twinge of morality puts a crimp in his bloodthirsty career.
A nameless Shooter (Dolph Lundgren) and his rookie female Spotter (Gina Bellman) prepare for their latest assignment. But when their target picks up a small child, Shooter aborts the job and the pair barely escape with their lives.
Years later, Shooter and Spotter are working again as a team. Shooter breaks into an under-construction high-rise, while Spotter gets in by posing as a computer technician. The duo prepare their weapons, even as psychotic security guard O'Hara (Christopher Heyerdahl) plans to force himself on
Spotter. When Spotter is attacked by O'Hara, Shooter saves her and leaves the guard handcuffed to a toilet. While the two assassins have sex, O'Hara breaks free and is suddenly killed by his staid partner--who turns out to be an undercover agency Supervisor (Conrad Dunn).
On the morning of the hit, Shooter once again hesitates as the target approaches, only to have the job suddenly accomplished by a secret second team. As Spotter decides whether to follow policy and kill her partner, operatives for the undercover agency break into the building, Shooter takes a
bullet to the chest, while the Supervisor is killed in an elevator explosion which Shooter engineered in order to kill him. Later, Spotter discovers that her partner is alive, thanks to a bullet-proof vest.
Visual stylization is nothing new to Russell Mulcahy, who directed HIGHLANDER (as well as several early Duran Duran videos); even in this threadbare production, he makes the most of his material on the visual level. Yet, despite some picturesque locales and intriguing camerawork, he's unable to
bring any heart to the film's lightweight script. In short, there's plenty of hardware on display, but few brain cells--more time is devoted to the art of assembling huge guns than to the development of believable characters.
Filmed in Montreal, much of the film is set in a half-constructed building--a decision which obviously kept the budget and cast to a minimum. Lundgren makes a capable looking "hitman with a heart," even if he lacks the acting chops to fill out the role; the script doesn't help in this regard,
since it continually undermines the character's supposedly imposing skills by rarely choosing to show them. And while the comely Bellman brings a modicum of class to the predictable proceedings, the rest of the cast is left on auto-pilot throughout. Even by routine action movie standards, this
superficial throwaway is a dull and meandering bore. (Graphic violence, nudity, substance abuse, profanity.)
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