The Killing Machine (2010) – Review

3 Stars


In The Killing Machine, Dolph Lundgren is an ex KGB agent, now living in the United States and working as a hit-man, for the Russian mafia. The veteran assassin is contemplating retirement, when he is forced into taking one last assignment. Things go awry and suddenly Lundgren finds himself the target for a group of skilled mercenaries. The Killing Machine (a.k.a. Icarus) is a stylish action thriller that attempts to add an element of film noir mixed in with its Bourne-like story. The result is a mixed bag, with a handful of good scenes but not much originality.

You have to hand it to Lundgren. While most of his contemporaries in the B-Movie action world have grown weary (Seagal) or ravaged by drug use (Van Damme), he has quietly carved out a respectable career in above average genera pictures. In the process Lundgren has also stepped behind the camera, The Killing Machine marks his sixth time in the director’s chair. This film is not as well constructed or staged as Command Performance and The Russian Specialist. Those movies had a certain energy and clear narrative pull throughout.The Killing Machine features Lundgren’s best performance from an acting standpoint, but the story and screenplay are needlessly complicated and convoluted.

There is plenty of gun play and choreographed combat to satisfy the Saturday night action crowd. Those scenes are handled efficiently; the film is violent and earns its R rating. Consequently, I liked the quieter moments that allowed the actors to shine. Lundgren appears here in a tailored suit with his hair slicked back, resembling a wall street shark more than a deadly Russian killer. 25 years after being launched into stardom in Rocky IV, Lundgren has matured into a subtle actor with intriguing screen presence. His confidence as a filmmaker is in turn allowing the actor to appear in better productions than normally would be the case. Although, viewer be warned of the mystifying and miscalculated final shot that nearly destroys the entire film.

Director: Dolph Lundgren
Stars: Dolph Lundgren, Bo Svenson, Stefanie von Pfetten

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