1/2 StarThe tagline for Epicenter reads, “The Quake is only half the battle” which is inaccurate considering that the big shake doesn’t occur until an hour into this ninety minute groan-fest. In reality the earthquake is apparently only one-third of the battle, this is an exceedingly boring release from the usually reliable pairing of B-Movie maestro Richard Pepin and English kickboxing champ turned action hero Gary Daniels.
Something is off from the opening when Daniels is cast as a computer genesis capable of breaking the encryption on a global security network. Then we have former teenage porn-star Traci Lords as an undercover FBI agent who is about to bring down a criminal ring between Russian mob members and Daniels’ character. Since Agent Amanda Foster (Lords) made the collar, she is assigned to transport Constantine (Daniels) to Los Angeles where he will sit in Federal prison. Just as the duo arrives in town, and during the middle of a Mexican stand-off inside a restaurant, a massive earthquake strikes the California fault line. Now in the midst of catastrophic destruction, Foster and Constantine must pair up to survive the ravaged streets, determined assassins and crooked cops who all have cause to kill both.
The only pleasure to be had with this dud is in spotting the stock footage and guessing what movie it was originally shot for. I counted Metro, Speed, Money Train and Escape from L.A. among the casualties. This movie was so boring I started to try to figure out how they would move the story to the next set-piece to accommodate the unoriginal footage edited in. On that bottom-barrel level Epicenter works as an editing exercise, otherwise it just exercised my patience.
Director: Richard Pepin
Stars: Traci Lords, Gary Daniels, Jeff Fahey