Those wondering what a Dolph Lundgren vehicle looks like in 2020 — we are legion, no doubt — can peep Hard Night Falling now that it’s available for Amazon Prime and Hulu subscribers. For Gen-Xers, Dolph is beloved for playing He-Man and Rocky IV villain Ivan Drago, and we get a nice tickly thrill every time he resurfaces in the Hollywood mainstream for stuff like Aquaman, Creed II and The Expendables movies. Dolph, however, has had a lucrative career in B-movies, ranging from cheapo sequels — including, but not limited to, Kindergarten Cop 2 and Sharknado 5 — to action movies with interchangeable titles, just like this one.
The Gist: Rossini (Mario Opinato) is a very big slice of corporate cheese, and all his interests are banked on a massive collection of rare coins he keeps locked up in the treasure dungeon of his Italian caste-villa. He says the coins are worth $150 million and are invulnerable to any Wall Street collapse or economic crisis, which seems like a dubious claim, but hey, I’m no economist. Meanwhile, Dolph is an interpol agent who we meet in the middle of busting up an illegal weapons buy that has nothing to do with the plot, but exists to show us that he still kicks ass with his fists and a pistol, and I say that knowing full well that those weapons have nothing to do with kicking. It’s just an idiom, you know.
I digress. Dolph has a character name, but it’s not important, so I’ll just keep calling him Dolph. Dolph has a daughter, Diana (Chiara Arrigoni), he hasn’t seen in years, and a wife, Mary (Sinne Mutsaers), who isn’t the daughter’s mother, but that’s not important to the plot at all, because it’s what you call “character development.” Anyway, this “character development” isn’t referenced again, because the plot needs someone for Dolph to rescue, from the bad guys and possibly from himself. There’s a scene in which Dolph’s kickass lady-friend fellow agent Emma (Natalie Burn) helps him tie his tie, and there’s a tingle of sexy ‘lectricity for a second, but that’s never mentioned again either. “I have a marriage to save,” he tells her, and then he goes to meet Mary and Diana at Rossini’s villa for a dinner party for white people who are very rich.
Maybe you can see where this is going already, but I’ll press on. Some evil bad guys led by Goro (Hal Yamanouchi) chose the wrong night to steal the crap out of those coins. Dolph is sharp as a tooth in the mouth of a piranha, and spots a waiter who’s packing heat in his pants, but they don’t escape in time, and the evil bad guys snatch Mary and take hostages and try to find the keys to the treasure dungeon. Dolph manages to call Emma and his Interpol pals, because it would be too unrealistic and no fun at all for one man to Die Hard his way out of this shit all by himself.
What Movies Will It Remind You Of?: On the aging-action-star scale, Hard Night Falling falls somewhere between Taken and Steven Seagal’s late-period high-collar/billowing-muumuu DTV movies.
Performance Worth Watching: Yamanouchi tries to spice up an uninspired script with some evil inflection and, in one hopefully not unintentionally funny scene, hissing like a slashed tire.
Memorable Dialogue: Mary tries to tend to a dying man:
Goro: Leave him.
Mary: I’m a doctor.
Goro: I’m a soldier. And it suits me to see him die.
Goro: Thank you.
Sex and Skin: None.
Our Take: Hard Night Falling is the type of catchpenny action flick in which every dollar it didn’t spend is evident on screen: Public-domain musical score. English dialogue that sounds like it was recited phonetically. Long lapses of screentime that don’t feature the headliner. Jumbled editing. Flaccid dramatic twists. The least convincing fight choreography since the touring production of Rambo On Ice. And when all else fails, ask the cinematographer to hit record and dance a jig.
In spite of its dramatic ineptitude, cheapo production values, off-the-rack plot, just-get-it-over-with performances and day-old-bread line-readings, the movie isn’t particularly entertaining. Dolph moves gingerly through the sets, and Burn ends up taking the lead in the movie’s pugilism sweepstakes, and she isn’t even on the one-sheet. A large portion of the film consists of deadwood bad guys walking through dimly lit corridors so good guys can sneak up behind them and neutralize them with a knife, silencer pistol or knockout swat. None of it is satisfying, tension and suspense are nonexistent and the ending is moronic. This movie, IT WILL BREAK YOU.
Our Call: SKIP IT. I thought B-movies were supposed to be fun?
John Serba is a freelance writer and film critic based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Read more of his work at johnserbaatlarge.com or follow him on Twitter: @johnserba.
Stream Hard Night Falling on Hulu
Stream Hard Night Falling on Amazon Prime
Source: New York Post
The post Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Hard Night Falling’ on Amazon Prime, a Modern Dolph Lundgren Vehicle That Meets Our Expectations for Such Things appeared first on -.