The Killing Machine 

Confession: I love me some Dolph Lundgren movies.

While it was nice seeing him back on the big screen in this summer's "The Expendables," I remember a period in the late 1980s and early 1990s when he was a go-to presence for reliable trash that I still enjoy today "? and free of irony "? including the first try at Marvel Comics' "The Punisher," the toy adaptation "Masters of the Universe," the sci-fi/cop hybrid "I Come in Peace" and opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme in the hit "Universal Soldier."

A ton of unwatchable, direct-to-video product has followed, but now "? like "The Expendables" "? there's a vehicle for him that harkens back to the action star's glory days: "The Killing Machine." (The back cover even lists the title as "Dolph Lundgren Is The Killing Machine.")

His character has an actual name, however: Edward Genn, former KGB assassin "? code name: Icarus "? who's gone straight in Canada, trading his guns for the financial markets and a family. And just as that business has collapsed in recent years, so has his marriage to Joey (Stefanie von Pfetten).

Genn has a hot young thing on the side (Lindsay Maxwell) who kind of detests his young daughter (Katelyn Mager), but that complication is nothing once his past comes back to haunt him, or, to be techincal, to try and kill him and those he loves. Of course, you don't get a cool code name like Icarus by letting people run all over you, so it's shootin' time again for Genn! And maybe "? jussssst maybe "? an opportunity to win back Joey's heart.

This is the first Lundgren vehicle I've seen that the guy actually directed, too, and I've gotta say that I'm impressed. Not that he has an identifiable stamp of style, but because the action scenes are easy to follow and yet still let Dolph kick ass "? not all via bullets, but some mano y mano, too.

I'm not saying rush out and buy this one blind, but should you run across it on cable or spot it in that Redbox thingie, it'd be 88 minutes and/or 100 pennies you can spend without regret, provided you're already predisposed to Dolph. "?Rod Lott

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