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A renegade general (Robert Miano) plots to bomb Washington using a new top secret jet called the Storm Catcher. The only trouble is only one man (Dolph Lundgren) is capable of flying it. So they seek to put him on the run in a conspiracy that makes him appear to have murdered several men and stolen the plane. Then try to murder his wife and take his daughter prisoner. Threatening to kill his daughter if he doesn't help, he appears trapped. However, his best friend (Mystro Clark) who is the plane's computer specialist has a few tricks up his sleeve. Written by John Sacksteder Air Force pilot JACK HOLLOWAY is falsely accused and convicted of the crime of treason for the theft of a prototypical military aircraft. Enroute to prison, he makes a daring escape in an effort to recover the plane, clear his name and gain his freedom. A fugitive on the run, aided by the knowledge of his trusted friend, LT. Sparks, Holloway uncovers a mystery that reveals not only the individuals responsible for the frame-gyp, but a deadly web of conspirators whose far reaching influence is woven tightly into the fabric of the U.S. military. Dodging a series of dangerous encounters with his wife and daughter in danger, Holloway fights desperately to save not only his family and his reputation, but to prevent the use of the aircraft as an implement of war on the most unthinkable battleground of all... AMERICAN SOIL.
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The story focuses on Jack Holloway who test flies a top secret plane (badly woven-in stock footage of a real plane that is not called Storm Catcher is used as well as footage from Under Siege 2) and is framed for stealing it and hiding it in a hut out in the desert. Or something. The way the story develops is VERY cliched although I never did see the "twist" coming so it kind of did succeed there.
There are a few redeeming features. Like Mystro Clark as "Sparks" and there are 2 oddball special agents who crop up every now and again but serve no real purpose other than to look like Hugo Weaving from The Matrix. I tell ya, the resembelence is uncanny. The woman who plays Holloways wife is badly miscast although his daughter is a rather good actress.
Director (and Hugo Weaving lookalike) Anthony Hickox insists on using handheld cameras in scenes that don't them and steadicam on scenes that do. I don't know what his method or technique of film-making is but it's plain bad.
The tagline for this dreck (Convicted of treason. Sentenced to death. One chance to set the record straight) is totally wrong too and gives you the impression that the story is going to build to a more satisfying climax. But it doesn't. Dolph is neither convicted nor is he sentenced so that is a huge lie.
Watch this movie on TV but do NOT rent it and do NOT buy it like I did. Save your money for Dolph's best movie...Joshua Tree.
The DVD is in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen with Dolby 5.1 sound. Director Anthony Hickox's commentary is PRICELESS. He totally rips the film apart calling it all the worst names under the sun and admits how awful it is. He only made it to pay the bills apparently. Well, work is work huh?
First off, this is not a movie that is in any danger of being nominated for an Oscar. That being said, there's actually a lot to like here, despite the Made-for-the-USA-Network feel of the production.
Yvonne Zima plays Holloway's stereotypical daughter-in-danger. Probably the best known cast member besides Lundgren, Zima played a regular character on "E.R.", Rachel Greene. She has also appeared in "Bed of Roses", and as another "daughter-in-danger" in "The Long Kiss Goodnight". She's really pretty good, and avoids the pitfalls of being the annoying, helpless kid that is the usual path for this kind of character in action movies.
As an arch nemesis, Robert Miano lends a degree of credibility to an otherwise direct-to-video offering. He has the proper weight as an actor to play a believable bad guy, and he serves admirably here. Proof that a good actor can overcome a weak script.
Mystro Clark is also pretty good as the ground controller buddy of Holloway, Captain "Sparks". Think of him as a sort of toned-down version of Chris Tucker (who himself is a sort of a toned-down Martain Lawrence). Playing both comedy and more serious moments seemed to come easily to him, and I hope he has more opportunities to both show and fine-tune his acting talents.
The best unknown of the bunch, however, has to be the lovely Kimberley Davies as half of an FBI duo of agents trying to crack the case of the mysterious anti-government conspiracy. Probably one of the most beautiful women in front of a camera today, Davies is better known for her work in the UK and Australia than she is here in the USA (hopefully this will change).
Besides the cast, I did like some of the location work, and the decent footage of what appeared to be a real stealth fighter. You won't see anything shatteringly awesome here, unless it is the shot from a camera bolted onto a van that gets blown up and flips end over end. Personally, however, I thought Airwolf could have taken out the fancy stealth plane with no problem.