November 11th, 2009


Okay, so I know you’ve all been wondering where the heck I’ve been for the past week or so.  Truth is I’ve been spending lots of quality time with my brand spanking new baby daughter and kinda forgot about reviewing movies for a bit.  To me, just watching the little faces she makes is like a hundred times cooler than any movie.  (Yes, even Star Wars.)  The other night while she was particularly fussy, I decided to pop on Dolph Lundgren’s new movie, Command Performance.  This thing can be summed up in six words:  Die Hard at a Rock Concert.  For most people out there, Command Performance will be pretty forgettable, but me; I’ll always remember it as the first movie I ever watched as a proud papa. 


Let me start off by saying that I admire Lundgren.  You can tell he really likes making movies.  It doesn’t matter to him that the studios don’t give him much of a budget and he has to shoot his films overseas on a tight schedule.  This guy just keeps his head down and continues to make better-than-mediocre low budget Direct-to-DVD action movies for his loyal fans. 


Command Performance is not quite what I would call “good”, but it’s got a high watchability factor going for it.  While there are better Direct-to-DVD Die Hard rip-offs out there (in fact, Dolph also made the superior Detention, which was Die Hard in a School), Command Performance is exactly what you would expect from the subgenre.  Nothing more, nothing less.  In addition, the film hits all it’s marks competently and moves along at a steady clip. 


Dolph does a great job in front of the camera.  His usual charisma shines through and keeps you watching; even when shit gets extremely derivative and predictable.  I do have a major criticism of his directing style though.  He goes hog wild for the Law and Order type shaky-cam shit and it gets rather annoying after awhile.


If anything, Command Performance delivers on the gore.  First off, there is plenty of arterial spray whenever someone gets their throat slashed.  We also get a gnarly scene where Dolph impales someone on a broken guitar neck.  The piece de resistance though comes when Lundgren shoves a drumstick into a guy’s head and it goes through his chin and comes out of his eyeball.  Great stuff.  Dolph also gave himself a bunch of cheesy/dumb/hey-it-made-me-laugh-because-I’m-seriously-sleep-deprived-from-being-up-all-night-with-a-crying-baby lines like “Dying is easy, Rock n’ Roll is hard!”