Dangerous Ground (1997) – Review

1 Star

I remember reading an interview with actor Ice Cube in which he declared Ghosts of Mars as the worst film of his screen career. Well, Mr. Cube you must have forgotten that you appeared in this terrible action thriller from the late nineties, four years before Mars. The aforementioned plays Vusi, a young man who is exiled from his homeland of Africa for revolutionary acts toward the ruling regime. Already the movie revels its preposterous, to think a twelve-year-old boy is causing such trouble that he is sent abroad rather than killed is pure fantasy in today’s harsh reality.

So, for the past fifteen years Vusi (Ice Cube) has made a home for himself in San Francisco, (though this being a South African production we never get any scenes in America). When his father dies Vusi returns home to grieve with his family. Before he can catch his flight back to America to finish his awaiting college finals, his mother asks him to locate one of his wayward brothers, thought to have been indebted to a local criminal figure (Ving Rhames).

This of course leads to a banal series of scenes in which awkward interplay between Vusi and a stripper (Elizabeth Hurley), who lives next door to the missing brother, plays out. The movie tries to say something about the geo-politics (of the time) and the use of drugs to enslave black men in Africa. But it’s really all about gunplay and chases.

Dangerous Ground is directed by Darrell Roodt, a filmmaker with a varied collection of films under his belt. I prefer his low-brow martial arts flicks, those at least had conviction and clarity. Ice Cube and Hurly have zero chemistry, making they’re teaming a peculiar oddity in screen history.

Director: Darrell Roodt
Stars: Ice Cube, Elizabeth Hurley, Ving Rhames

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