20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2010
Despite the new giddy, silly title, this is actually one of Dolph's best recent efforts. The action legend, and co-star of the Expendables, plays Eddie, a hitman for the Russian mafia with a dark secret, yes, a darker secret than being a hitman for the Russian mob. It seems Eddie once was a KGB assassin code name: Icarus, hence the film's better original title, "Icarus", which is the one I saw it under. Now some baddies have targeted him for elimantion and drag his poor unsuspecting ex-wife and young daughter into the violence. Double crosses, hidden agendas and lots and lots of violence insure.
Dolph directed this one, his fourth offical directing job, and it delivers what you would expect, gunfights, martial arts, ripped heroes, and dead villians. It's all done very well though, and better than the junk being turned out just a few years ago by the 80s and 90s fallen heroes, with above par production values and solid acting and action. Plus, 70s action star (and Tarantino fave) Bo Svenson (Inglorious Bast*rds), a fellow Sweed and childhood hero of Lundgren's, plays the film's main baddie.
For fans of this kinda stuff, you can't go wrong here, for those of us who just can't see Shia LaBuof, Chris Evans or Ryan Reynolds as the next "action stars", long may Dolph and his a** kicking brotheron reign. Who knows, thanks to the Expendables, this sorta stuff could become big again.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Crammed full of fast action, loud music, mindless violence, explosions, gore, appalling dialog, flimsy plot and sex at inappropriate moments, Dolph Lundgren films don't really come much better than this. Or even much different from this...
If you're a Lundgren fan, you'll know what to expect and this will not disappoint. Sure, it's clichéd, hackneyed and has all been done before but that doesn't stop this from being great fun for those who like this kind of thing. Just settle down, pass the popcorn, ignore the dialog and enjoy!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2011
This is an independantly released Action film. Dolph Lundgren Is known for many of his films being independant however this one is recent and doesnt dissapoint. I have to say this is probably one of his best independant films made. I recommened this to any fan of the Action genre or Dolph Lundgren. Lots of action, violence and a good storyline.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2010
According to the DVD package, the official title of this new direct-to-disc action flick is DOLPH LUNDGREN IS THE KILLING MACHINE (a/k/a ICARUS, 2010). Certainly, the super-sized Swede is some kind of machine - not only is this his 37th feature film (38th, if you count his non-speaking appearance in the James Bond flick A VIEW TO A KILL) but his fifth as director and star.
In THE KILLING MACHINE, Dolph (THE EXPENDABLES, COMMAND PERFORMANCE) portrays a former KGB agent-turned-hitman for the Russian mob known as "Icarus." Returning to his Vancouver home after a bloody assignment in Hong Kong, he unexpectedly finds himself the target of a horde of killers working for an unknown employer. Desperate to protect his young daughter and ex-wife from the onslaught of assassins, he must use his every contact, every weapon, every lethal skill at his disposal to keep his family alive and determine the identity of his mysterious adversary.
Once again, Lundgren proves that he didn't waste his time sitting around movie sets for the last couple of decades. Clearly, he was paying attention to how those movies were made. As a director, he shows a perhaps not-unexpected faculty for staging clear, coherent, and brutal action scenes, but Lundgren also proves adept at handling his cast - managing even to get a decent performance out of Bo Svenson (WALKING TALL PART 2, THE INGLORIOUS BASTARDS). The film's pacing is brisk; even when there isn't blood spraying, guns blazing or bones breaking, the film never bogs down. In other words, he has learned how to make a really good low-budget action flick... and I've got to wonder what he could do with real resources and money.
Anchor Bay brings THE KILLING MACHINE to DVD on Tuesday, October 19th with an excellent 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. The only bonus feature is a solid, informative behind-the-scenes featurette.
For fans of 80s action films and/or the legendary Lundgren, THE KILLING MACHINE delivers solid thrills, a serviceable story and Dolph doing exactly what we want him to do: kicking in heads and blowing bad guys away. Recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
In The Killing Machine (2010), Dolph Lundgren plays a former KGB operative turned undercover assassin, who must fight to keep his family from danger. Lundgren also directs this very solid action flick, which has good production values, a solid supporting cast, and even a decent looking opening credit sequence.
Edward Genn (Lundgren) a former KGB agent, uses his job as a businessman in Vancouver as a cover, for being a killer for hire. Genn returns home after completing a messy hit in Hong Kong, and after meeting a Mr. Graham (David Lewis), and experiencing problems with getting paid, begins to suspect that things are not quite right.
Genn gets an assignment for another hit in Miami, but it occurs at a time when he has custody of his daughter Taylor (Katelyn Mager), and his ex-wife Joey (Stefanie von Pfetten) will be out of town. Genn has to take the job, and leaves his daughter with his girlfriend April (Lindsay Maxwell). Very quickly, Genn discovers that there is a contract not only on his life, but also his family. Only by quick action, deadly force, and a little help from his old friend Kerr (Samantha Ferris) does he manage to save Joey and Taylor.
Eventually it is revealed that an old Russian comrade named Vadim Varselov (Bo Swenson) whose life was once saved by Edward Genn when he known by the codename Icarus, is the one behind the plot to kill him. Pressured by Graham, this leads to a reunion between old friends, that ends with a stylish shootout at Varselov's California mansion. Bo Swenson brings some veteran credibility to a film with many unfamiliar faces.
While playing a Russian agent or hitman is very familiar territory for Lundgren, this story has some twists and a few new elements that hold your interest, despite several rough spots. At 53, Lundgren is still in very good physical condition, and while he may never be regarded as a skilled dramatic actor, his performance here displays a little more depth and sensitivity than usual. Typical for a Lundgren film, the action scenes are the high points. The shootouts and hand to hand combat scenes, are competently executed, though in keeping with Dolph's fighting style, a little rough around the edges. Lundgren is onscreen for most of the film, but that doesn't keep him from effectively directing this mostly solid action/thriller, which is strongly recommended to fans of the genre.
The DVD release shows more effort than usual, as the film is subtitled, includes a trailer, and a 22 minute behind the scenes featurette that has some solid insightful information about the production. Dolph Lundgren continues to enjoy a very active acting career, and hopefully this film is a positive indication of the direction he is headed in. Rating: 3.5 stars for one of Lundgren's better efforts in a while.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2011
Being Dolph Lundgren's first solo release following his return to the mainstream with The Expendables, "The Killing Machine" carries a lot of expectation with it. It more or less comes through, albeit in unexpected ways that may or may not fulfill the cravings of casual action fans. As a director, Lundgren continues to mature and adds another feather to his cap with this one, giving the impression that he's ready to handle a project with a bigger cast and budget if ever it comes his way...but of course, this one's not without a few annoying features that keep it from a higher rating.
The story: ex-KGB agent-turned mob enforcer Eddie "Icarus" Genn (Lundgren) finds his family's lives threatened when his attempt to leave his double-life behind has seemingly everybody gunning for him.
The movie has so many good qualities and is so above-average in terms of legitimate dramatic worth (by DTV standards) that when any evidence of its low budget makes itself apparent, you wonder what the heck it's doing there. There are no overt snafus or cinematic stumblings that bring down the movie, but a few little things keep up the annoyance level throughout. The film's story drags a bit during the middle act, and while the decision to shoot the entire movie without fixed cameras was doubtlessly an attempt at style, the film looked professional enough to begin with and makes this technique both unnecessary and distracting. Additionally, the overuse of stuttery slow-down effects and flashbacks dates the movie and makes it seem less professional.
The action content ought to be hit & miss, depending on your personal standards. It's almost completely made up of gunfights with a few fisticuffs thrown in, but none of it is very flashy. The four shootouts definitely had some effort put into them, but with the exception of the finale, they aren't quite inventive enough to keep me interested. Lundgren's usual karate is ignored in favor mixed martial arts - in other words, expect a lot of rolling around on the ground and general brawling. It's a bit more exciting than I expected, surprisingly, but seriously, give me Showdown in Little Tokyo over this any day. Lastly, the fact that the minor dream match of Lundgren vs. villain/fellow martial artist Bo Svenson (The Inglorious Bastards) doesn't happen is also particularly disappointing.
Amazingly, the movie's real strengths lie in its dramatics, which are at a definite high point for Lundgren. Though the double-life plot and its execution hearken to a previously made Steven Seagal movie, Lundgren goes above and beyond what's expected in the DTV realm to make it his own. Co-star Stafanie von Pfetten (Decoys) in particular complements Dolph on his dramatic high: there's a great scene (slightly marred by the following sex) wherein his terrified and livid ex-wife points a gun at Icarus and screams at him to tell her what the hell is going on, but he's too set on keeping her safe and ignorant to divulge it even when she's been pushed to the brink. The subtle suspense of a scene in which Icarus scouts through a house wherein everybody has been assassinated is almost unheard of among action movies in general. (SPOILER) Samantha Kerris (The 4400) does such a good job of setting up her mentor-like character that it's a genuine shock when she double-crosses Icarus.
Being a dramatic success more than anything else sets this film apart from every other movie that Lundgren has directed, but the picture's faults converge easily and weigh on its overall quality. In all honesty, "The Killing Machine" deserves a 4-star rating, but its questionable marketing (selling it as a plain action movie instead of a thriller) guarantees at least some disappointment for fans and keeps it down. Nevertheless, Dolph oughta keep it up and promises improvement with his future pictures. It's still worth being a fan!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2010
The movie starts out with our killing machine, Edward Glenn (Dolph) in a no-win situation, then flashes back. He is now in bed with a gold digging blond asking him for a new car while they make love because her current car is "so last year." (Brief nudity) He gets a call from his wife (or ex-wife) about attending his daughter's play. Dolph seems cold and heartless. Later we find out he is an ex-KGB assassin working for the Russian mob. He has a real day job as an investment broker. He goes to Hong Kong on an assignment. He murders his target and a bunch of other people, but allows a witness (being tortured by his target) to live. He returns home and is questioned if he left any witnesses. He answers in the negative and gets another assignment. He has to go to Miami ASAP and take out a man that weekend. However, it is his turn to have his daughter that weekend as mom goes frolics with her boyfriend. Edward leaves the girl with his floozy girlfriend and drives off to the airport. The floozy doesn't want to take care of the kid so she palms her off on the housekeeper. Meanwhile Edward is on his way to the airport on the phone with his wife, convincing her he just had supper with Taylor(daughter) and she had just gone to bed. He is just out getting a few items for breakfast, he claims. Then BAM! He is sent on a detour, which turns out to be a trap. People attempt to kill him as he has been set up. He manages to escape and get his daughter to safety then goes to save his wife. After they met up, there is a gun battle with people in police uniforms and her boyfriend gets killed. They end up hiding out together and she asks, "Are you doing something illegal?" DUH! He doesn't answer her until after she puts out. Odd. When I get a woman's boyfriend killed, it is rare that they have sex with me the same freaking night.
While I gave away half the movie, the rest is trying to figure out who set him up and the payback. As it turns out our cold heartless killer left his family so they wouldn't get caught up in his world and get killed. A little like OJ, "so if I left you and made love to a blond girl half your age, that would mean I love you."
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2010
As you would expect from a Dolph Lundgren film, 'The Killing Machine' (or 'Icarus', his character's title and the original title of the film) is crammed full of fast action, loud music, mindless violence, explosions, repulsive visions of gore, pointless sex scenes, mixed lovingly with some daft dialogue ("Who are you? ... I'm your executioner!"), bad lighting, and cardboard 'extras' acting!
That said, amazingly, it does have a very decent, semi-plausible plot to play by! I know, I couldn't believe it either, trust me! Maybe it's because Dolph directed this one, his fourth offical directing job since he took over the reins (albeit unexpectedly when the original director pulled out for another project) on 'The Defender.'
And so, that plot premise - well, Edward Genn (Lundgren) has a much darker secret than being a family man: he was also, once upon a day, a hitman for the Russian mob. Once known as a KGB assassin code name: Icarus, he tried to get out of the business, but it seems it's just not that easy.
Being guilt-tripped into working for the KGB on the side, away from his low-paying 9-5 city job, he undertakes mission after mission, killing whoever he is told it the target; getting paid VERY well in the process. But now. it seems HE is the Hit and the bad guys have targeted him for elimantion.
Cue his girlfriend getting blown up (literally!), his daughter getting kidnapped, and his poor unsuspecting ex-wife being dragged from A to B to C throughout the movie! 'The Killing Machine' features lots of gratuitous scenes of violence, blood and sex, and of course, handfuls of double crosses (the barn scene in particular - "Pass the fork, darling!") and hidden agendas.
If there was anything bad to say about this way-above-average B-Movie, it would be that Lundgren's spoken narrative that guides us along the way with him is a) un-needed, and b) so slowly, lightly spoken, that you get the impression the man was on Prozac at the time of recording it!
In the Special Feature Behind-The-Scenes featurette, Dolph doesn't call himself an Actor. He simply, and always calls himself an Action Star. And, terming this film always as a return to Film Noir, one has to think that somewhere inside Lundgren's mind, perhaps he views everything in Black & White. But, no matter what, he is still one of the most go-to specimen's of the so-called Action Star today - Noir or un-Noir'd!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2011
You did an excellent job acting and directing.
Please do not let the few negative reviews discourage you from making sequels.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2010
This movie was as previously reviewed, and lived up to its billing as a throwback to 80's-style action movies.
It's also one of the best acting jobs I've seen from Dolph Lundgren. He was actually allowed to be a human being with a full range of emotions in this film. Nice to see him in a role that permitted more than monosyllabic grunts. He also still looks awesome for his age.
The plot was developed enough to inspire empathy but not so heavy as to take away from the action genre.
My major issue was with the sound quality. I'm not sure if I got a bad DVD or whether it was a production issue, but the soundtrack and all sound effects play OVER the dialogue. The actors were nearly impossible to hear, the sound effects generally sounded like they were coming from a tin can, and it was rather like trying to hear someone talking in a crowded bar. Interestingly, the behind-the-scenes footage did not suffer from the same malady.