forget to ask for Dolph Lundgren
SIMON MANGIARACINA - COLUMNIST
Much to my chagrin, both copies of the latest Hulk Hogan feature-length
film were on loan at Video Galaxy, as well as Women's Penitentiary
6. I hope that this week's film, The Peacekeeper
starring Dolph Lundgren (The Punisher, Universal
Soldier), is a worthy substitute.
When I got the movie home, I noticed that the actual video
cassette had been released by Dreamworks and that its running time was
204 minutes. Immediately, I knew something was wrong. I popped the cassette
into my VCR. To my horror, the movie that played on the television screen
starred George Clooney and was called The Peacemaker. I
grabbed the tape and stormed into Video Galaxy.
I approached a shaggy-haired clerk and announced, "I rented
a movie called The Peacemaker starring George Clooney, but
what I wanted was The Peacekeeper starring - "The shaggy-haired
gentleman cut me off and said "Dolph Lundgren."
He was proud to have anticipated this detail. I was impressed
by his knowledge. He looked at me with smug assurance, "Common mistake."
Indeed. Obviously I am not the first Dolph Lundgren fan to come home with
a movie starring that namby-pamby George Clooney.
Not only does The Peacekeeper feature the esteemed
Mr. Lundgren, but also stars Roy Scheider ("Smile you son of a bitch!")
as a nameless President of the United States (Mr. President to you and
me, and even his closest friends), and none other than Montel Williams.
Dolph and Montel become close friends, as they dodge terrorist
machine gun fire together and exchange witty remarks: "How do we get out
of here?" "That way." Not since Gibson and Glover has a white guy/ black
guy duo been so charming.
You want plot? Here's your damned fancy-pants plot: Dolph
Lundgren is Lt. Frank Cross who is famous for ditching his military duties
to pilot cargo loads of rice to starving Kurds. His punishment for making
these altruistic but costly deliveries against orders is either a court
marshal or a new assignment with the government. Cross chooses the latter.
His new task is to carry the "black bag," a hi-tech brief-case/
computer which contains the launch codes for our nuclear arsenal. Lt.
Cross's job is to follow Mr. President around, protecting the "black bag"
with his life. Well, wouldn't you know it, but a bunch of terrorists steal
it from him.
But Dolph doesn't give it up too easily. In one of the most
ridiculous car chases ever captured on film, Dolph speeds after the terrorists
from the roof of a parking garage, hopping from one building to the next,
rooftop to rooftop.
Soon enough, Dolph makes his way into a highly secured government
nuclear missile silo where the terrorist group has killed every officer
but one: Montel Williams!
Montel and Dolph team up and kick some terrorist rump. But
they can't act fast enough, as the terrorist leader launches the first
missile and destroys. . . Mt. Rushmore. Hmm, oh well. I think I could
live without that. Oh right, I guess some people live in South Dakota,
but we won't trouble ourselves too much over that detail.
Unfortunately, Montel gets shot in the leg quicker than he
can say, "Are you raising a Teenage Monster?" so he doesn't play much
of a crucial role. Dolph is faced with a knife-wielding terrorist lackey
who asks, "You wanna die dick-wad?" Dolph kills him with an axe.
No one calls Dolph Lundgren a dick-wad and lives to tell about
it. No one.The gripping climax puts President Roy into a bit of a pickle.
The terrorist leader demands that Mr. President either shoot
himself in the head on live national television, or he'll blow up Washington
D.C. What do you do, Mr. President? What do you do?
Well I won't tell you what he does, because you'd be best
off finding out for yourself. What I will tell you, is that when Montel
is asked by a reporter in the wake of the disaster, "Who was responsible
for what happened?" he can only answer with one word: "Einstein." B+