Monday, October 25, 2010

DVD: Hunt To Kill

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

Directed by Keoni Waxman
Written by Frank Hannah
Starring Steve Austin, Gil Bellows, Gary Daniels, Michael Eklund, Emilie Ullerup, Marie Avgeropoulos

Much like most of the movies starring American wrestling superstar "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, although you might expect otherwise, his acting skill is not the biggest problem.

The movie follows a well-worn plot that has been the subject of many actions movies before this one. The star is made to guide a group of criminals through rough terrain because they are dragging his daughter along for the journey at gunpoint. Simple enough and everyone knows it's only a matter of time (approximately 75% of the movie's length) before he starts killing them one by one in imaginative ways which befit his character (if we're lucky). And it plays out more or less as you would expect, right down to people who we're meant to assume are dead getting back up for another round. Why throw out one action movie tradition when you've touched upon all of the rest? At least there's no token love interest.

As for the acting, such that it is, Eric Roberts makes an all-too-brief cameo in the opening few minute which sadly stands as the best turn of the movie. Emilie Ullerup somehow manages to be worse as one of the criminals than she is as Ashley in sci-fi series 'Sanctuary', Marie Avgeropoulos is so obviously too old to be playing Austin's teenage daughter Kim that she can never make "Daddy" ring true, and why British-born kick boxer-turned-action star Gary Daniels quite feels the need to over-do his English accent is a mystery. Presumably director Keoni Waxman thought his normal voice was too subtle for American audiences to realise he was English.

One thing Austin can never be faulted for in his acting is his effort. He always seems to try hard despite being in a string of low-budget, badly scripted action-by-numbers DVD releases. Besides Austin's admirable efforts the only real acting going on comes from Gil Bellows as murderous leader Banks, but his script is truly dreadful at times, and the ever-eccentric Michael Eklund as tech geek Geary. In both cases though they're forced to over act in the majority of their scenes, especially Bellows.

Like Austin's other recent DVD release 'The Stranger', 'Hunt To Kill' is watchable on one of those lazy evenings when you just want to watch something without having to think too hard, and since no one involved in writing this movie did, it stands to reason that you don't have to either. There are better, there are worse, take it for what it is.

“ low-budget, badly scripted action-by-numbers ”

Special Features: None.

DVD Release Date: October 11, 2010
Studio: NGN Productions
Feature Running Time: 93 mins
Certificate: 15
Language(s): English
Subtitles: None
Other Format(s): Blu-Ray