Friday, January 26, 2024

The Cutter (2005)

The Cutter (2005)


The Past Holds the Key.



A girl is kidnapped and a two million ransom demanded from the mother. Who's going to rescue her? P.I. Chuck Norris! But he's too late and she's dead. Chuck beats himself up, by which I mean a boxing bag. He's like 65 at the time of filming and still punching strong.

Meanwhile an Archaeological dig in Egypt turns into a fatal heist of rare gemstones when Daniel Bernhardt murders the crew and takes the gems to the States to shop around for an exclusive diamond specialist. He finds Isaac Teller and forces him to cut an impossible design. His niece Elizabeth hires P.I. Chuck to find him but he's attacked by a fake electrician in a ponytail and then tased, and shot at and constantly - Bernhardt clearly means business.


This is a good time. Chuck's Russian accent in his first scene is hilarious: think Brad Pitt in Inglorious Basterds ("Bonjourno."). He's badass in a stunt-doubles kind of way though, throwing a guy out the window then saying "I needed some air". Later he deadpan says "I'm as serious as a heart attack" and I laughed out loud.

Bernhardt is fun as the master of disguises and really quite ruthless. He has a good fight with Chuck on a bus and this time it's poor Chuck who goes out the window, but Chuck comes back with a vengeance in a second fight with kickboxing roundhouses. Of course Chuck has a stunt double but it’s tastefully done. Bernhardt has like five or six completely different disguises in the film and it’s great to see him pop up with fake beards and the like.


Speaking of cutters, I tell you what should have been cut: that early 2000s Bourne Identity style quick-action cutaways with rapid zooms. It's enough to give you a headache. Chuck is in a fun car chase where he's the pursuer but it's difficult to follow due to the way its shot. Pretty much any shootout is the same. Some of the Seagal from the same period (which The Cutter feels very much like) suffered similarly.

This only runs 85 minutes and despite the complaints in cinematographic choices, it's never dull. Chuck will never win awards for acting ability but he is still a presence on screen and fun to watch. This was Chuck’s final starring role (a cameo in Expendables 2 aside) but as of the time of writing, Chuck is back in Agent Recon!