SciFi
Redline
.
Dir: Tibor Takács
Star: Rutger Hauer, Mark Dacascos, Yvonne Sciň
Cert / Year: 18 - R / 1997
Format: DVD R1
'

Wade (Rutger Hauer) and Merrick ( Mark Dacascos) are partners smuggling high tech games into Russia, or at least they were until Merrick double crosses Wade and kills him. Along comes Vanya the Special Prosecutor who finds Wades body and decides to bring him back from the dead so he can help his investigations into the Russian Mafia, the Troika. Wade has other plans as he escapes hospital and teams up with a prostitute called Marina K (Yvonne Sciň) with the intention of getting his money back and his revenge on Merrick.

Rutger Hauer's career is littered with low budget sci-fi offerings like this, which on the whole is not a bad thing as this is the sort of role that suits him best. Here we have a real vintage Rutger performance, as great Dane plies his way through a number of gun fights with his customary menacing calmness. Ok so he's getting a bit too old for the action hero so of roles, and he has rather piled on the pounds (requiring careful editing to hide the belly), but as a actor his screen presence is outstanding.

The story itself forms a nice little techno thriller. Although by the second half of the movie the techno elements are all but ignored in favour of full on shoot outs. There are just enough plot twists to keep things interesting in between the action, but this really isn't going to tax the brains much. So if bullets are on the menu as the main course a definite side dish is the copious amounts of nudity. While it is never a chore looking at semi clad beautiful women (and certain not in the case of Yvonne Sciň) here it is taken to extreme. This gives the film more of the feeling of a Japanese category three film, similar in this respect to Naked Killer. However it must be said that while the nudity does not add to the story it certainly does not distract from it (and possibly it makes the plot exposition scenes at bit less boring).

Mark Dacascos has been around for a while in mostly in B movie fare which is a bit of a shame as he is a pretty good actor with outstanding martial arts skills (check out Drive to see him at his best). Here he dons the obligatory goatee to play the bad guy, a role which he pulls off pretty well. It's just a shame more is not made of his fighting skills. Italian model \ actress Yvonne Sciň proves to be very watchable and is really very good. She demonstrates that she is equally at home with the action scenes as she is with seduction. In fact the whole cast despite the dodgy European accents are most impressive.

Director Tibor Takács (the man whose name sounds like a minty breath freshener) does a fine job. Redline was filmed in his native Hungary and this has provided some absolutely brilliant locations that look suitably Russian. While there is no doubt that the locations do a massive job in providing the film with its atmosphere, they also aid in stretching the budget to give the feel of a much bigger film (where else can you get your hands on two Hind attack helicopters). Against this post communist backdrop the action is kept zipping along nicely, and the occasional lapses in gunfight direction can be overlooked.

Redline is not big box office Hollywood, it is not ground breaking original or the best film you will ever watch. It is a fast paced techno action thriller, with a quality cast and an unusually setting. The use of the near future Russian setting is unusual and works to the benefit of the film. Apart from that you get lots of action and a fair amount of flesh. If this doesn't put you off or you're a big fan of Rutger Hauer then this film is well worth a watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5

DVD
Picture 1.85:1 Anamorphic A bit grainy but good
Audio Dolby Surround Not terribly exciting
Features None
Verdict Picture and sound are good for a film of this budget, however no features mean this is a poor disc.

Rating: 1 out of 5

Reviewed by Glitz Back Top Home

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