Saturday, March 16, 2024

Command Performance (2009)

Command Performance (2009)


This show could be deadly.


Command Performance - Official Trailer 0-26 screenshot

Dolph Lundgren is Joe, the drummer of a rock band called CMF about to play support for a popstar called Venus (Melissa Molinaro). The two artists are playing a special command performance for the Russian President under strict security. While CMF is playing, men disguised as cooks and waiters kill the backdoor guards and sneak in, bringing crates of weapons with them.

At the height of Venus' set and whilst Joe is backstage, the team of assassins blast in killing most of the security and storm the stage, taking not only Venus hostage but the American ambassador and the President himself. Joe emerges to witness the filming of the first execution and formulates a plan - play a wild guitar solo then use his Fender as a mallet! Joe teams up with one of the surviving Russian security team and the fight back begins.

Command Performance - Official Trailer 0-6 screenshot

Command Performance - Official Trailer 0-29 screenshot

"Dying is easy. Rock and roll is hard."

Command Performance is Die Hard in an Arena, basically. It has some really fun scenes and lines, like Dolph sticking a knife into someone's brain and quipping "watch the hair, dude". The film doesn't shy from the violence, with squibs aplenty, machine gun slaughter, throats ripped out, AK-47 rifle butt bludgeoning and old fashioned beatdowns. Dolph is the man as Joe, tattooed and badass with a history in biker gangs that makes him gun shy (until he isn't).

Melissa Molinaro is believable as Venus, in that I can’t stand her. That’s the point though, at least at the beginning; she’s a brat with too much money. Most of the other characters are non-descript; Hristo Shopov’s President is certainly no Putin, though you can tell that is what they were aiming for. I did like the character of Oleg Kazov, played by the late Dave Legeno, who is responsible for twelve kills to Dolph’s ten. He’s damn ruthless and quite the joy to watch. Frequent Dolph collaborator James Chalke as Vladimir also gets his hands dirty quite a bit.

Command Performance - Official Trailer 1-0 screenshot

Fun fact, one of the president's daughters is Lundgren's own daughter, Ida. She was a good little actress (better than some of the adult extras) and has only since appeared in her dad's most recent Direction, Castle Falls, much older of course.

Dolph is a solid director, solid drummer, and Command Performance is a solid action film. I always have fun watching this one; it's tightly paced, has some fun dialogue and absolutely brings the violence. Dolph had a string of solid action films around this time – Direct Contact, Missionary Man, The Mechanik, Icarus aka The Killing Machine – and they are all worth watching. But Command Performance might just be the best.

Command Performance - Official Trailer 0-47 screenshot