Monday, July 12, 2010

The Shooter aka Hidden Assassin (1995)

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Tagline:

Seduction is a Deadly Weapon!

Back of DVD:

When the Cuban Ambassador is assassinated, special agent Michael Dane must travel to Prague to hunt down the person responsible. Time is running out: the U.S./Cuban summit is scheduled to take place within two days. And the seductively deadly French agent is not making matters any easier...

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Movie Review:

As post #20 was a Steven Seagal movie, post #21 should definitely be a Dolph Lundgren vehicle. This is not one of Dolph's best by any stretch but it is a solid, if unremarkable thriller with a few interesting twists.

Dolph is summoned to Prague by his old friend Alex (John Ashton, Beverly Hills Cop 1 and 2). Dolph and Alex meet with some diplomats and secret police types, and Dolph is persuaded by a large box of cigars to do a hit for the man Dick Powell. Dick suspects that female assassin Simone Rosset, played by the lovely Maruschka Detmers, was the shooter in the assassination of the Cuban ambassador. This affects Dick because there is to be a summit in Prague in two days between the US and Cuba and Simone could ruin it if she turns up guns blazing. Dick "wants this woman out of his life" and Dolph agrees to take the job, with Alex's assistance.

Dolph and Alex tail the girl going about her daily routine running a cafe, and going to a club at night dancing all erotically. There is a hilarious "duh duh" expression on Dolph's face when he watches Simone dance. It really would have played well if the music changed to "why do birds suddenly appear". The next day Dolph tries the undercover approach and acts as a patron of Simone's cafe; in fact he pretends to sell her wine as she is quite the connoisseur. The two get right trashed on red plonk then go down to Simone's basement (oo-er). The trap is set and Alex sneaks up to Simone but before he can make his move Simone's bodyguard comes crashing down the stairs and lunges at Alex. Dolph kicks the guys arse (go Dolph!). Simone attacks Dolph with a fire extinguisher and she is finally drugged unconscious and thrown into the boot of Dolph's car. Problem solved and the summit secured.

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But of course it wouldn't be that simple. Simone apparently a master of escape techniques frees herself from her handcuffs and sets fire to the car, as they are driving in it. Dolph and Alex pursue Simone through the streets of Prague then into the cold water of the river but local cops who know no better put a gun on Alex and Dolph and Simone escapes. Dick Powell arrives at the scene a very angry man and puts on a good "this negligence will be punished" show for the watching diplomats, but ultimately gives Dolph and Alex another chance to catch Simone.

And so it goes on, really. Dolph tries to get help from Simone's business partner slash girlfriend Marta by pretending he is on her side, and she appears to be buying the story - Dolph even gets into a believable car chase with Alex persuing them - but he is double-crossed when Simone's bodyguard pulls a gun on him. The two girls escape into a waiting train at the station but Dolph being Dolph jumps onto the tracks, shoots through the rear window and climbs on to the roof (very Under Siege 2 and half a dozen other movies).

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It's all pretty standard fare. Not to say this movie is bad, it's just hard to write a glowing review of because nothing much out of the ordinary really happens. There is a few action scenes and shootouts from moving cars and running along rooftops, and a couple of twists involving the key players in the movie. Simone gets smoochy with Dolphy, Dolph turns on those that are paying him, Dolph and Simone get shot at by atypical henchmen (the greasy types, the suited types with dark sunglasses) etc. etc. The Prague land and cityscape is very nice though.

I might sound like I am being harsh; the movie is enjoyable and I didn't fall asleep, so that's good, but there is a fair amount of plot-babble to provide backstory that really isn't necessary. Blow up a tanker truck or something. I do prefer my Dolph movies to be explosive like Direct Contact or Showdown in Little Tokyo. Direct Contact isn't a bad reference point actually, though it was made ten years later, as it has a similar theme - Dolph pulls an undercover job for the government to pick up a girl, but it's all actually a ruse. That movie was far more ridiculous and less mainstream than The Shooter (one of Dolph's post-Universal Soldier efforts, and definitely when he was becoming less and less seen in the general publics eye) but also far more fun.

Still, I'll probably watch this again at some point. The shootout at the ambassador party is quite nice.

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The Video:

This was a special one. Through my friend Jeremie who runs the website Dolph: The Ultimate Guide I acquired two versions of this movie: an NTSC full screen presentation that was uncut and with English audio, and a PAL 16:9 Widescreen uncut version that only had German audio. Through a series of micro-cuts (at the reel change points) I was able to synch the English audio (after an NTSC>PAL conversion) to the German video. The results are pretty damn good and vastly superior to the American R1 fullscreen presentation. There is a Korean widescreen DVD available on eBay but this combination has 10 minutes of extra footage on it, though I am not sure what footage is added. I have done this with a few other Dolph movies so expect to see them in the future! Runtime 100 minutes (standard US cut is 89 minutes)

Sourced From:

dolph-ultimate.com - join the forum and chat all things Dolph!

Trailer:

More Screens:

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6 comments:

  1. Hidden Assassin was decent. You are absolutely right about it needing more explosions. Also Silent Trigger is another fun Dolph flick!

    Kinda like Seagal in Machete, can't wait to see Dolph (and Gary Daniels) back on the big screen in The Expendables!

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  2. Yeah same here! Daniels is also in that live-action Tekken film which I REALLY hope will soon get released in the U.S.(Daniels plays Brian Fury)

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  3. I had no idea that Gary Daniels was also in The expendables! Man that movie is going to be sweet.

    Yeah this was an okay thriller, just nothing to write home about. I have Silent Trigger as well, I'll try to review all Dolph, Seagal and JCVD movies over the coming months.

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  4. If you're a Dolph fan, this is pretty awesome, but if you're just kind of luke warm on him, then I can see calling it okay. It's really just a matter of what you're willing to put up with, and with Dolph, I'm willing to put up with quite a bit.

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  5. nice review, Not a major Dolph fan but i own universal Soldier, Rocky 4 and Showdown in little tokyo, he seems to be slightly better than JCVD and Segal. This film sounds intriguing though.

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  6. Thanks pedromonkey, and cheers for stopping by! Dolph is probably my personal favourite of the three actors you mentioned and as he is the only one of the three that made it into The Expendables, that might confirm it for me. Though Seagal in Machete could be an unexpected win. JCVD has been quiet of late though I hear he is about to do a reality TV series?! He's had at least two movies stuck in production for two years now.

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