It's Personal. It's War.
Back of DVD:
After losing his eyesight during a botched CIA operation, Special Agent Connors agrees to be injected with a highly-experimental serum that promised to cure his blindness. Armed with extraordinary new vision, Connors successfully completes one last mission - only to discover he's been tricked into helping terrorists steal a chemical weapon. Now, he must turn his first defeat into his final victory and bring down a madman hell-bent on catastrophic destruction.
I took a gamble on this when I saw it in the video shop. I needed five movies to get one free when picking up some ex-rentals and was out of options until I saw this - a Sony Pictures, obviously direct-to-dvd actioner with the guy who starred along side Steven Seagal in Today You Die - Anthony 'Treach' Criss - and the girl who starred along Steven Seagal in Half Past Dead - Nia Peeples. If they are good enough for ol' ponytail, they are good enough for me. I didn't know it at the time but the director of Connor's War, Nick Castle, was also responsible for The Last Starfighter! Score.
The movie starts in a hotel opposite the White House. Some terrorists are holding the First Lady hostage in the dining room and have said they have also killed some waiting staff and armed the doors with explosives. Enter Darryl Greene (Garwin Sanford, from lot's of TV like Stargate, Eureka, Supernatural) with his SWAT team ready to kick arse, but are subdued by Brooks (Blu Mankuma, similar filmography) who says he has a man in action ready to go. Greene is still eager but gives Brooks' guy ten minutes to get the job done, and that guy is Connors (Treach).
Treach, hiding in the kitchen's dumbwaiter, sneaks out dressed as a waiter. One of the terrorists give him shit so Connor's stabs him with a kitchen knife and throws him into the quick-freezer. Connors' delivers champagne to the lead terrorist who is busy telling his life story to the First Lady, but Connors' is mentally taking note of all the players in the room. When the timing is right, he snatches the lead terrorists' two guns and lays out all the other terrorists quickly and cleanly. He radio's that he's complete his mission but Greene's SWAT guys are already knocking the door down which is armed with explosives. He yells for them to stop but the door explodes and the flash of the explosion permanently blinds Connors.
Three years later, Connors' has become a drunk who wakes from his hangover in the afternoon and just starts drinking again. He may be blind but his sense of hearing makes up for it, and he can tell when his old boss Brooks shows up. After a bit of jibber-jabber, Brooks offers Connors' a deal - do one last job for him and with a revolutionary new technique his eyesight will be restored. Brooks says that he knows he is about to be replaced by some sort of satellite technology that can do his job (I thought that was strange, too) and wants to steal the laptop that controls the thing away from Greene. Connors' agrees for the sake of his eyes and goes with Brooks to a safehouse where doctors are waiting, one of them the hot-for-45 Nia Peeples. They say that they are going to inject his eyes with a serum that will restore his sight so he sits in front of a machine and gets needles shot straight into his eyeballs.
Connors' sight eventually comes to when he and Brooks have made it to their destination, the military facility that holds the laptop. His eye sight, he says, is better than ever before, though we as the viewer see a mess of bright lights in tunnel-vision. With his old security pass still active, Connors' gains entrance easily to the building and both knocks the power out and steals the briefcase containing the laptop. His super-sight allows him to see in the dark so he easily escapes to his car, but soldiers catch up with him and fire on the car as he drives off. Unfortunately his eyes fail and he crashes into a river, although somehow he manages to blindly get back to the Brooks' car who takes him to the safehouse doctors where they remove the serum from his eyes, and Brooks collects his briefcase.
The next day he awakes to Nia Peeples cooking him lunch. When Connors' tells her about the job last night she says that from what she saw the briefcase didn't contain a laptop but a thermos (of green shit). Connors' knows exactly what this is (apparently a nerve gas bomb) and that people will be after him for stealing it, and at that moment Peeples notices two guys in suits approaching the house...
I thought Treach did a good job in this. Apparently acting is his night job, and by day his is a rapper for the group Naughty by Nature. Now I'm an advocate for death metal so know not of such activities, but as far as the lead in an action-thriller goes he did well, and thankfully kept the jive-talk that Seagal favours so much to a minimum. There was a couple of more action-driven scenes where Treach wrestles with a guy and breaks his neck, and jumps in the air shooting three guys before he hits the ground on his side, but he does far more sneaking around and threatening people than kicking guys arses.
That being said though, unlike other thrillers-posing-as-action movies I was not bored by this; not at all. I only checked the clock once and was surprised I was over an hour into it, so that speaks worlds about Connors' War as far as I'm concerned. Nia Peeples is fine as the companion doctor Amanda who has never fired a gun, but manages to take out a guy by unloading a full clip into him, and with Connors, try to stop the nerve gas bomb from being used by Brooks as a revenge bargaining chip with Greene.
Aside from the blind man regaining his sight concept, Connors' War isn't hugely original or anything and there aren't enough explosions (though I do say that a lot) and it even has a bomb-defusal finale, but it's a lean ride at 86 minutes and not overly complicated, which is something I really DO like in my action movies. Convoluted plots suck when you just want to see cars blow up, and although we didn't get any of that here, this simple stop-the-bad-guys story works well enough without them. Recommended.
Again a typical, modern DTV film presentation - a crisp 16:9 enhanced video with strong colours and a thumping DD 5.1 soundtrack. Very sharp, very pleasing. Runtime 86 minutes.
Ex-rental disc for $5.