The Peacekeeper (1997) – Review

3 Stars

Dolph Lundgren has portrayed military personnel so many times in various films that he seems born for war. Those in-the-know recognize the mesomorph as an introspective, intelligent, gentleman. Or the complete antithesis of his ongoing screen persona. Whatever the case may be, he’s got the squared jaw line of a 1950’s G.I. Joe action figure. The Peacekeeper, not to be confused with 1997’s similarly titled The Peacemaker, is a highly entertaining B-movie.

This is the kind of low-key and lowbrow action thriller that would routinely appear as a world premiere on HBO, or arrive without fanfare on video store shelves. It was always a bit of a shocker to enter my local Blockbuster and discover the latest from Lundgren, Speakman, or Mark Dacascos. Often times there would be literally zero money spent on marketing and still these films seemed to find their target audiences. The Peacekeeper is rightly regarded as one of the best film of Lundgren’s post theatrical era.

Facing court-martial due to a vigilante relief effort, Maj. Frank Cross (Dolph Lundgren) is assigned to safe keep a suitcase containing President Robert Baker’s (Roy Scheider) classified nuclear launch codes. During a presidential address at a Chicago hotel, a terrorist group attacks Cross and steals the suitcase and the codes. Cross enlists the help of a Lt. Kernal (Montel Willimas) to combat the terrorists who’ve declared their intent to launch a nuclear missile unless the president shoots himself in the head on national television.

The B-movie market dried up sometime around 2009, too much over-reliance on stock footage lazily spliced in from other recognizable movies, and aging action stars sunk the once vibrant sub-genre. A decade earlier directors and stars of these pictures seemed to take a lot more pride in their projects. I couldn’t spot any stock footage in The Peacekeeper. I suspect a car chase early on is from another more expensive picture but the director has taken great measures to match all the elements. Resulting in a great sequence that stands on its own. This movie also features daytime talkshow host Montel Williams, himself a former Marine, playing Lundgren’s sidekick. The Peacekeeper is a good little Die Hard clone.

Director: Frédéric Forestier
Stars: Dolph Lundgren, Montel Williams, Roy Scheider

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