Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dark Angel (1990) Review:

For actor Dolph Lundgren, I am disappointed that his career has remained at these kinds of films. It is not that they are bad, they just don’t seem to be what could fit him character wise. It's a shame that producers and directors don't look for him to star in other films. Instead, Lundgren fans will majority of the time see him in Direct-to-Video releases. I think this film could've had a moderate successful run if it had been released theatrically, but that obviously didn't happen.

See the difference in height??
Lundgren stars as Jack Caine, a Texas cop who likes doing things his own way. While trying to capture a crack dealer named Victor Manning, his partner is killed in the process but in that time gap, another individual comes onto the screen. Matthias Hues is Talec, an alien who will use the crack to inject into his victims to create his own alien drug. In the meantime, Caine has his deceased partner replaced with FIB agent Smith played by Brian Benben. This concept is actually not that bad. Of course, that doesn't stop this movie from having its flaws but through and through, it's a decent fun.

The character of Jack Caine is well played by Lundgren. His ability to act quick in tense situations and hand-to-hand combat skills are praiseworthy. And the pairing of Smith and Caine was an acceptable casting choice as well. Benben makes use of his smaller appearance as a character compared to Lundgren. Even though Smith annoys Caine for some time, because Smith follows the book line by line, these characters develop a friendship over time, which is good thing. Their dialog exchanges are humorous as well.

Also because of Caine's rashness at his job, he struggles to maintain a healthy relationship with his girlfriend Diane Pallone (Betsy Brandtley). This subplot didn't particularly make the film any less cliche but it did make the story a slight bit more engaging because to some, it may concern viewers if Caine's girlfriend will run into this drug seeking alien. Adding to the fun is Michael J. Pollard, or as others might remember him as, Owen, from Tango & Cash (1989) a year before. Pollard still has the chops to be goofy.

Talec, the evil alien drug lord
Musical artist, Jan Hammer was the score writer for this action film. Unfortunately there was no specific theme but his catchy beats made it enjoyable all the same. This is rare for me. Most of the time if the score to a film does not have a specific theme, it tends to leave me empty but I enjoyed Hammer's music so that surprised me. The look of the alien race that Hues plays is neat too. Although I still think it is cheesy that their insides are made up of molten marshmallow.

There wasn't much that was bad here, but for what there was it irked me. For one, the beginning of the alien plot never concluded the Victor Manning plot. Victor Manning was never captured. Why would the writers leave that untouched? Couldn't they just have written an ending for the Victor Manning plot once the alien plot started? Also the ending seemed kind of abrupt. For endings to a film, there should be some kind of a closing scene but this film doesn't offer that. The action was good too even though it still had a mid-80's feel to it...I mean it was filmed and released in the very late 80's so I can understand why.

Jack Caine is not the most memorable character in film history but Dark Angel is a fun Dolph Lundgren piece if you're in the mood for a silly cop film with a pinch of outer space.

Points Earned --> 8:10

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