Saturday, August 17, 2013

Diamond Dogs (2007) Review:

Dolph Lundgren is an action actor. He plays characters that are always one step above everyone. He always has the best skills, the best lines and the most screen time. But no matter how strong these particular elements are, if everything else is bad, the movie will be bad. And that is exactly where this movie falls down the tubes. Dolph Lundgren plays an ex-military man, Xander Ronson who had a bad history with friendly fire. Now, he lives in Asia to escape his problems by taking part in illegal gambling.

Dolph Lundgren & Nan Yu
After being ambushed by the police, he is told that he owes a huge debt to many people he borrowed money from and if he doesn't get it within 2 weeks, he goes to jail. Luckily for him, a greedy artifact collector named Mr. Chambers (William Shriver) approaches Ronson. If Ronson helps Chambers find the ancient artifact, Ronson will be able to pay off the debts. That's about it for plot and from there, it doesn't go anywhere else. The writer, LĂ©opold St-Pierre, probably didn't review his screenplay enough because the film ends exactly the way it starts out, which could make many viewers feel like watching this movie wasn't even worth the parts that were credible.

Here's the good parts. First is Dolph Lundgren, if you're a fan of him. There’s not doubt that he puts in the best performance. It is frustrating because most of his films contain a lot of good lines. Here, Mr. Lundgren only spews out a couple. The only other actor I enjoyed was Nan Yu, the actress who is now best known for playing Maggie in Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables 2 (2012). But it's funny too because after watching this picture, it'll be obvious to why Lundgren's character hit on Maggie so much in EXP2. The music provided by Larry Cohen was ok but not fantastic either. The good thing is that it reflected a lot of the culture that was on screen so I'm glad Cohen respected that.

And if there's one thing to learn from this movie on a moral standard, it is that greed always makes everyone lose. That's just how the cookie crumbles. That's it for what is considered good, and by good I mean passable for this movie. What really brings this production down are the bad guys, action and camera shots (along with the writing already mentioned). A lot of the time, the camera just can't stay focused, which can make the viewing experience very annoying. Plus, for a Lundgren film, the action was very light. It made Detention (2003) look like an action packed blockbuster. It'll be a half-hour or more before any shooting starts.

William Shriver -__________-
Lastly, the villains are what will anger people the most. William Shriver as the greedy Mr. Chambers has a squeeley little voice and a puny figure compared to Mr. Lundgren, which makes them seem very mismatched in a bad way. And although the Chambers character is suppose to come off as threatening, Shriver doesn't pose himself as one because when he makes threats to Lundgren's character, he just roles it off like it didn't mean much to begin with. Chambers just comes off as a sniveling weasel with no backbone instead of a real villain, making any real threat obsolete. I thought it couldn't get any worse than Detention (2003), but I was wrong. I don’t even know what the title has to do with anything in this movie!

Dolph Lundgren and Nan Yu act passably but they are far too overshadowed by the weak villains, minimal action sequences, unsteady camera shots and poor writing. This is a time waste of a movie.

Points Earned --> 3:10


  1. When you say the film ends when it should start out you're absolutely right: in fact, the original screenplay by Leo St Pierre and approved by Dolph was much longer and more sophisticated, what the final movie is represent only about 20% of the initial script! What happened was when Dolph and the director got in Mongolia to shoot it, the production was so messed up and amateurish they had salvage it by doing what they could to shoot no matter what, hence truncating the script and hide the lack of budget. Apparently the Chinese co-producers didn't bring their promised part of the financing and sent out an amateurish crew. Lundgren even stepped up to take on the directing after a few days of production...

  2. Smh -___- sounds like it was flawed from the beginning....thanks for trivia though!