A solid low-budget actioner
by Nav Qateel
The last thing I expected from an action flick boasting the names of Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture and Vinnie Jones, was to see for perhaps the first time, each of them play characters that suited them perfectly, in the same movie. Even though this trio are listed as the stars, that privilege goes to the pair who were not only very good, but were the actual stars of Ambushed. Gianni Capaldi (Blood of Redemption) and Daniel Bonjour (The Back-up Bride). This is the norm with any movie really, where the bigger named actors get to emblazon the poster, but make no mistake, everyone puts in a commendable performance. It was also good seeing (or should that be hearing?) everyone using their native accent, (except Lundgren) although, picturing Vinnie Jones do anything but a “Saff Lundon” (South London) accent would be stretching the imagination to unimaginable proportions. It’s a refreshing change to hear natural accents as we each live in a global community.
Jones was cast in a well-known action flick a while back playing a mean looking character, who didn’t speak a word until the very end, but the former soccer player bad-boy, turned actor, need only scowl to get his mug in a film. More power to you, Vinnie. Then we have Gianni Capaldi, a Scotsman playing a Scot, who would have made Scorsese consider recasting Joe Pesci when explosive violence was called for, as Capaldi kneed groins, kicked and head-butted (Glasgow kissed) his way through Ambushed. But also showed a surprising range for a straight-to-DVD affair. Dolph Lundgren, a man who needs absolutely no introduction (and can be spotted from the Space-Station on a clear day), was his usual self, only much better. Or to quote Depp’s Mad Hatter, he was “much more muchier.”
Out of the trio of “names,” Lundgren has more screen-time. Next it would be Randy Couture, as he plays corrupt Detective Jack Reiley, a cop gone off-the-rails, thanks to a huge cocaine habit which must be maintained. He gets to put on some great wrestling moves, especially at the end of Ambushed, where he and FBI Agent Maxwell (Lundgren) go toe-to-toe in a teen-boy’s wet dream. Vinnie Jones plays, you guessed it, a mob boss, Vincent Camastra, he just wants his large consignment of drugs back, which were stolen from his murdered underlings by Frank (Bonjour). Frank and Eddie (Capaldi) have a mere two days to sell the drugs at street value, or their days breathing air are numbered. (George Jung in Blow perchance?).
I have only one real gripe about this movie, it starts to get bogged down in side story that serves little purpose, like the rookie partner of Maxwell, or Maxwell’s undercover girlfriend. But really, aside from crime-scene tape that goes under parts of bodies, and clearly under a handgun (nitpicking I know, but it’s funny), this Agustin penned, Giorgio Serafini helmed effort, is a great little movie that entertains from beginning to end. There wasn’t a single wasted scene, no dragging out the story, in fact, there were two or three movies with all the material Serafini had to work with. Direction wise, this was a solid job, as Serafini coaxed decent performances from all involved, although, because everyone was playing to their strengths, his job was surely made a lot easier. The casting was perfect, the editing quite creative at times. Kudos to the director on this one.
The premise is, Frank rips-off a major drug supplier. He and Eddie must sell it quickly or be killed. Frank (who gives a very interesting monologue) has a fiance, Ashley, played by the sultry Cinthya Bornacelli, who he wants to finally settle down with, finds himself deeper in the business than he ever intended to be, and the FBI are closing in on he and crazy Eddie. A dirty cop wants in on the action, and he is also under investigation by the Feds.