Ever since his turn as Ivan Drago in Rocky IV Dolph Lundgren has been a staple in the action genre. His more recent role in the Expendables franchise and as host of Race to the Scene on the REELZ channel has gotten him more visibility than ever but he still shows no signs of slowing down. His latest Blood of Redemption not only puts Dolph in the action lead, but he is bringing along Vinnie Jones, Billy Zane and Robert Davi for this crime thriller, but does it deliver anything more than just the action?
Blood of Redemption follows the son of the patriarch of a criminal empire who is betrayed by someone in his inner circle and arrested. When he is released from jail he tries to leave his past behind him, but when he discovers his father has been murdered and the new leader of the empire won’t leave him in peace, he must team up with his former henchman to take them head on. While there is action here this film plays more like a crime drama than anything else and seems a bit all over the place. Lundgren is the lead, but not of the story. It seems the film was crafted to create the illusion he is carrying it all with the narrative and some bit parts here and there, but the majority of the film is really Billy Zane. Lundgren and Jones both play second string to his character, which is fine as he is a great actor, but it just isn’t all that complex of a role. The story is nothing you haven’t seen before, but does work fine. Jones has some great moments to just let loose and be over the top which is what makes him so fun to watch. The action is there, but nothing that really stands out. Lundgren has always been great with the gun play, but even more so with the martial arts, but with this film he only gets a little bit to have fun with which is average at best.
This isn’t a horrible movie, but nothing all that new either. This is one of those straight to video titles that will play more to those that are fans of those involved namely Lundgren and Jones, but most others will be divided depending on their film opinions. If you are looking for a generic decent crime thriller with some cult hit actors then this is a good watch, just know that it’s not the full on action spectacle you usually expect from Lundgren.
Grab your copy of Blood of Redemption when it hits stores on September 24th