Ambushed isn’t a terrible movie but one that also is guilty of some false advertising prominently featuring Dolph Lundgren, Vinnie Jones and Randy Couture on the cover despite none of them being in the film for more than 15-minutes, though in the case of Couture, perhaps not the worst thing in the world. Still, the plot is a bit muddled trying to present a message about drugs and the culture, and the performances aren’t anything special outside of one or two of actors.
Genre(s): Crime, Drama
Anchor Bay | R – 97 min. – $29.99 | November 12, 2013
Directed by: Giorgio Serafini
Writer(s): Agustin (written by)
Cast: Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Vinnie Jones, Carly Pope, Gianni Capaldi, Daniel Bonjour, Susie Abromeit, Cinthya Bornicelli, Michael Rivera
Features: Featurette, DVD Copy
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 21.4 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 2.25/5
“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.” – A line from a far better crime drama.
Ambushed is an apt title for the latest Dolph Lundgren flick which co-stars Vinnie Jones and Randy Couture. All three are prominently featured on the cover but none of them are the central character and none have more than 15-minutes of screen time being relegated as supporting characters or, in the case of Jones, a credited cameo.
Frank (DANIEL BONJOUR) is a drug pusher, and owner of a strip club, partnered up with hothead Scotsman Eddie (GIANNI CAPALDI) but Frank wants more and takes it upon himself to gun down two suppliers, take the drugs which would eventually lead to more money and power. However, Frank’s not completely bad dating a college student and all around good girl Ashley (CINTHYA BORNICELLI); she’s the only person keeping him going over the edge.
However, the double homicide catches the attention of both dirty police detective Reilly (RANDY COUTURE) as well as DEA Agents Maxwell (DOLPH LUNDGREN) and new partner and rookie Haraday (MICHAEL RIVERA). Being the perceptive guy he is, he knows there’s something off about Reilly and it’s not the lack of acting skills either. We then get a half-assed chase scene as Reilly chases down a junkie who was at the scene and when said junkie has no usable info, Reilly murders him.
Back with Frank and Eddie, Frank’s actions has painful consequences when drug lord Vinnie (VINNIE JONES) gets wind of Frank’s involvement and wants his drugs back. But the pair appeal to his green side and make a deal to find the drugs (which they already have) and sell it at street value giving the money to Vinnie and thus making a move for Frank’s ultimate plan for money and power. At the same time, Reilly, while being investigated by Maxwell, does his own digging which leads to Frank and a whole new set of problems.
Frank second guesses his newfound riches and instead wants to put away some cash to retire and marry good girl Ashley. Will his dreams come true? What kind of trouble waits from the unstable Reilly who loses his badge and is humiliated? And what about Agent Maxwell, will he get his man a la Vincent and Neil in Heat? Oh, who am I kidding, it doesn’t matter and the movie sure as hell didn’t care with a hap-hazard plot.
Ambushed actually isn’t a terrible film and I wonder if in different, more talented, hands if it wouldn’t have been a half-decent crime drama. The acting is pretty standard I suppose with Couture still showing he shouldn’t be acting and Lundgren doing adequate work for his small role, same goes for Vinnie Jones who is basically playing the same thug role he’s played countless times before.
Meanwhile, Daniel Bonjour in the main role wasn’t bad while Gianni Capaldi had some better scenes, though his performance isn’t the best. The highlight for me was the young and unknown Cinthya Bornicelli who I hope to see more of and with better material. Oh, and Carly Pope, while sexy as hell, is limited due to a thin, and unnecessary, side story involving her and Lundgren’s characters.
Directed by Giorgio Serafini (Game of Death, Blood of Redemption) and written by Agustin (Falling Awake), Ambushed is a film with potential but squandered on C-casting and C-acting. The cinematography is nice and one of the fight sequence was decent enough, however, but otherwise it’s a forgettable DTV flick and even if you are a fan of Lundgren and/or Jones, they’re barely in the movie.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.0/5
The only feature is a Behind the Scenes (15:02; HD) featurette and the set also includes a retail DVD Copy.
Previews – Pawn Shop Chronicles, Pawn
VIDEO – 4.0/5
Released by Anchor Bay, Ambushed has the same glossy look that many other digitally-filmed direct-to-video releases have. While it doesn’t have many film-like qualities, the detail levels are sharp, colors nicely balanced and dark elements not showing signs of artifacts or pixilation. Although it doesn’t pop off the screen, it’s a fine transfer.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
The disc’s Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track sounds excellent and shows depth with crisp and clear dialogue and when we do get action scenes, the front and rear channels get the full experience. Ambient noises are distant but discernible and the generic score comes across well enough.
OVERALL – 2.0/5
Overall, Ambushed isn’t a terrible movie but one that also is guilty of some false advertising prominently featuring Dolph Lundgren, Vinnie Jones and Randy Couture on the cover despite none of them being in the film for more than 15-minutes, though in the case of Couture, perhaps not the worst thing in the world. Still, the plot is a bit muddled trying to present a message about drugs and the culture, and the performances aren’t anything special outside of one or two of actors. The Blu-ray released by Anchor Bay features nice audio/video transfers while the singular bonus feature is thin. Wait for this to hit the bargain bin.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.