I've seen several of Doplh Lundgren's films. SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO had to have been one of his best, and he excelled as the cop who I nicknamed "SGT. SAMURAI". I also liked some of his other films like SWEEPERS, and Lundgren made a great bad guy in UNIVERSAL SOLDIER.
These days, he's suffered the fate of so many karate stars out there to be condemned to only direct-to-video films. He may never be in another theatrical fim again, but that doesn't mean he can't still make good films. I rented this and popped it into the DVD player, having read reviews of it on .... There, it was classified as an action;martial arts;science fiction hybrid, and that appealed to me. I rented WARRIOR hoping to see some of Lundgren's kung fu on display in an exciting action film.
And that's the problem. This movie has much less action than Lundgren fans and Lundgren himself deserve. Oh, what little action there is in this flick is pretty well staged and has Lundgren showing off his martial arts prowess, and earns this film 2 stars in my book. The story is pretty clever to. An earthquake separating California from the mainland U.S., and it is then overrun by inmates of the maximum securiy prison.
That sounds like the perfect setup for an action film, doesn't it? Of course. So why didn't the filmmakers get it right. Didn't they know that action films THAT HAVE ACTION are popular for a reason? Apparantly not. This is the kind of action film that was made in the days when guys like Davey Crockett were popular. Thank God we've gotten past that.
Lundgren's career seems to be at a crossroads now, not so much because he's stuck doing direct-to-video, but because he did this movie. I have no doubt that his other films and his next film will better more enjoyable than this, but if he does continue to make this kind of action film, where the action is running on empty, he may be demoted further from direct-to-video to released-on-video-after-sitting-on-the-studio-shelf-for-three-years.