27 January 2011 | gigan-92
Enjoyable, Flawed, Fun= ???
I remember seeing this film as a kid, and i remember it being pretty bad-ass. Joining IMDb, and seeing it at a 4.9, I was astonished. But having been over twelve years, I decided to go out and buy the Director's cut. Just to be blunt, it's nowhere near worthy of the rating it's at. But, there is quite a bit of wasted potentiality. I'll start off with the good, which really there is a lot of if you think about it. First off, if you're really into action, look no further because this film sports a nice amount of it. And the basic premise is pretty interesting, but even the director's cut clocks in at under an hour and forty minutes , so it fails to dive any deeper than it certainly could've. The cinematography is by Guillermo Navarro, who many of you probably know from his work with director Guillermo del Toro ( "Blade 2", the "Hellboy" series, "Pan's Labyrinth", etc.), and he does a bang up job. With the right direction this could have been a masterpiece by all means. Mark A.Z. Dippé knew and carried out the bare minimum of film making, and if you look into it is busy now-a-days with animated Garfield productions. What a down grade, huh? About 90% of the visuals are pretty damn good actually, and the acting as it is is all right. For these things alone, I enjoyed this movie, where as I despised "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" for its predictable generic storyline and overly done flashy effects. Michael Jai White was far from terrible and John Leguizamo was pretty terrific if not a bit cartoony at times.
The bad points really hit this film hard. The pacing, attuned to its short run time, zooms by way too quickly with annoying video game like transitions and a score that didn't fit the film too well. Every time I was expecting more to be developed, I was let down. "Oh, this is a cool plot line-wait, what, we're moving on already? oh..okay..". And lastly, amongst 90% of the great CGI and make-up, the battle in hell is painstakingly terrible. They should've gone with an elaborate set and CGI here and there, but it becomes hopeless so you have to sit threw what you would call a lackluster climax.
But for what it is, I highly recommended this movie for its dark humor and awesome action.