Command Performance (Dolph Lundgren) 2009
Command Performance is about the Russian Premier and several others being held captive at a concert. The drummer of the opening act Joe (Dolph Lundgren) survives the initial assault and is determined to fight back. Many people just label this another Die Hard but I like to be a little more specific. I prefer to think of this as a little Under Seige (I’m just a cook/drummer) with a bit of Sudden Death (Die Hard at a hockey game).
It is seeming that the action movie stars of old have become the providers of good B-movie action: Sylvester Stallone, Jean Claude Van Damme, and now Dolph. No I am not including Seagal. While he is good for a laugh occasionally, none of his movies are really that entertaining and he whores himself out to anyone with a box of Ding Dongs. But to get back to what I was saying, these former stars know what the audience wants. They don’t try to reinvent the wheel but to make the most entertaining genre pics they can. With Sly I love the latest installments of Rocky and Rambo, and with Van Damme you have JCVD, Universal Soldier Regeneration (highly recommend), and even to a lesser extent Wake of Death (though he didn’t direct it).
I guess the point of this tangent is that it seems Dolph is starting to get that as well. I could give a hundred movies that ripped off Die Hard but Dolph doesn’t care about that. He just wants to make this movie entertaining which he does. As just a simple drummer, Joe is able to kill terrorists with all sorts of instruments. He is able for example to get the drop on a pair of people going to kill hostages by turning the amps to 11 and deafening them with a bitchin’ power chord. And he doesn’t use guns because, according to his words, bad things happen when he gets guns. So let me get this straight, this guy who in the previous scene just staked a man in the heart with a guitar neck, says bad things will happen if he gets a gun. First, that’s freaking awesome. But I am still curious how getting STABBED IN THE HEART WITH A GUITAR NECK is not bad. Maybe he means things only get worse when he gets guns. Anyway…
So yeah, this movie has a lot of fun action and cheesy one liners. There are a few things that don’t quite work. The villain (played by Dave Legeno) doesn’t really do anything that memorable. He more or less just stands around and grunts that he will kill hostages if his demands are not met blah blah blah. He has no scenes where he is allowed to chew the scenery. I will also say while Dolph is an alright director, he does have his shortcomings. It is bad when at times I am mentally setting up how the shot should be. Overall he does good but there are a few action bits where it is too close and the cutting too choppy for my tastes. And while this isn’t a flaw I found this kind of amusing. Dolph’s ego is showing quite a bit as every female character has to remark that Joe is a sexy man and how they want to bed him. I’m not saying Dolph is ugly (he looks great for his age) but it is a bit laughable when we attempt after attempt of near jail bait trying to get in his pants.
Command Performance isn’t anything you need to rush out to see. I am its target audience and I would only consider buying it if it was in some multi pack deal with other Dolph Lundgren movies. But this is better than 95% of other DTV movies and I know a few of you out there have the same odd tastes as me. If you like cheesy actionsploitation you may want to give this a rental.