The Package (2013) – Review

3 1/2 Stars

Mafia debt collector Tommy Wick (Steve Austin) is assigned a seemingly simple task, deliver a package to rival mafia figure and former associate,’The German’ (Dolph Lundgren). It’s not something that is normally requested of him, Tommy is more comfortable busting up a man’s face in a bowling alley than dealing with anyone from his past. However his Mafioso boss ‘Big Doug’ is using this job to wipe clean an outstanding marker Tommy’s imprisoned younger brother, Eddie (Lochlyn Munro) is unable to pay. So reluctantly Wick agrees to the deal, unbeknownst of the hijacking schemes being plotted by an opposing gang, fronted by a crazed mercenary (Darren Shahlavi).

Tommy is a goon, a low-life nobody that spends nights bouncing at a club. So how is it that he is able to survive these attacks from ex-military personnel to gain control over the precious cargo he is totting around? Well, it turns out this particular goon is a former military specialist himself, highly trained and now highly motivated to deliver the package to its intended target. Breaking his own rules of professionalism Tommy comes to discover the “Package” isn’t what he was led to believe, and now he must battle to set things right with those that want him dead and those that have set him up.

The Package beginnings with close-up shots displaying the inner mechanics of a bowling alley, belts and pulleys work in unison to create a function system that regurgitates bowling balls and restructures pins. From this esoteric vantage point it is obvious that the latest from iconic action stars Lundgren and Austin is going to be a bit of a detour from their most current outputs. In fact I can’t recall ever seeing the former WWE star Austin in a suit and slacks. Calling The Package excessively violent and simple-minded is redundant, that’s kind of the whole point when you get two mesomorphs like Austin and Lundgren in a film. This once again is an extended cameo role for Lundgren, who is sparingly interested into the film during the first hour, but makes the most of his minimal moments by adding menace and quirkiness to an already loopy role as a gentleman thug in poor health. It is former light heavyweight kick-boxer Jerry Trimble, himself a star of many grade-z guilty pleasures, who proves he still has the moves and makes a compelling argument for his addition to the next Expendables role-call. Strongly directed by former stuntman Jesse V. Johnson, this energetic thriller is anything but dull. Laced with a swift pace, charismatic leads and rampaging gunplay, The Package is a lot of fun for the initiated.

Director: Jesse V. Johnson
Stars: Steve Austin, Dolph Lundgren, Darren Shahlavi

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