Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dolph Lundgren proves
smoking pot saves lives

Command Performance (2009)
Starring: Dolph Lundgren, Melissa Smith, Hristo Shopov, Dave Legeno and Zahary Baharov
Director: Dolph Lundgren
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

Bloodthirsty terrorists take the Russian Premier, his young daughters, and a are taken hostage together with the headlining Britney Spears/Christina Aguilara-like pop star at a charity rock concert. It's up to the pot-smoking drummer (Lundgren) for the opening act to save the day. Good thing he's a man with a violent past and able to pound the crap out of more than just a drum set.

Rarely have I seen one of these aging action icons from the 1980s cast so effectively as in this film. I remarked in my review of "The Russian Specialist" that Lundgren was making a successful transition into life behind the camera, and he takes a further step with this movie, even while starring in it. Although his character is an ass-kicker, it is also a character who is haggard and worn, an aging rocker who looks like someone who's spent too many late nights in too many dive bars; the sexy pop-tartlet even comments that he's not bad for "an old guy."

So, not only does Lundgren appear to realize that he is aging, but he writes/directs parts for himself that acknowledge that fact. I see him helming some good action films in the future, with younger talent doing the butt-kicking.

Speaking of good action films and butt-kicking, that's what we get in "Command Performance." Although it's a little slow in the wind-up and unfolds in a predictable "Die Hard" mold, it's a lot of fun once it gets going. Little touches that are evocative of "Die Hard" in ways that are amusing rather than just copy-catting make the film especially enjoyable if you're a lover of action films, such as the fact that Lundgren's tougher-than-tough drummer avoids getting rounded up or killed by the terrorists because he was in the bathroom smoking a joint.

There's nothing original here and the plotline gets a little muddled when one of the terrorists decide his boss is just a little too crazy to work for and tries to betray him. (Basically, the question arises that if it was as easy to sneak in and out of the auditorium as it appears, why weren't the Russian military infiltrating the place from the get-go?) However, it's good fun in a mindless sort of way, and it shows that Dolph Lundgren still has what it takes, whether he is in front of or behind the camera. He is an example that all those aging action stars laboring in the twilight of their careers should look to.


  1. I came because the title of your post intrigued me... I stayed because I never new Dolph directed anything... I left with the desire to see a film I had never heard of nor even imagined...
    This is what it's all about!
    Rocky IV will always be a part of me: I want to see this too!

  2. This is at least the second film he's directed. He also sat in the Big Chair in 2005's "The Mechanik" (or "The Russian Specialist" as it is also known). It's also pretty good as far as action/revenge flicks go.

  3. Really enjoyed Command Performance. It is very cool that Dolph did his own drumming.