Detective Jack Caine (Dolph Lundgren) is
trying to bring down drug dealer Victor Manning (leader of the white collar gang, the White Boys) only to have his partner
murdered in an undercover sting and some of Victor’s men killed by someone else who steals the heroin. Soon Jack is partnered with straight laced FBI Special Agent Smith (Brian Benben) as they discover
an alien drug dealer is collecting human endorphins (by first injecting people with heroin right into the heart) to take back
to the stars as a highly potent drug for alien addicts. They must stop
the alien drug dealer before it is too late while Jack wants to patch up his relationship with Diane, the coroner.
DARK ANGEL is one of those movies I discovered
in high school on VHS (known back then as I COME IN PEACE) and I loved how this buddy cop movie involving an alien drug dealer
using a CD as a high speed projectile weapon came together as a very enjoyable cocktail for a sci-fi cop movie/ B movie. This movie is one of Dolph Lundgren’s best performances in the days where he
was making high quality B movies like MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE, THE PUNISHER, UNIVERSAL SOLDIER, JOHNNY MNEMONIC, and DARK
ANGEL/ I COME IN PEACE. Watching this movie again is also like a nice nostalgia
trip when video stores were common place in the days before Redbox, Netflix, and Blu-ray.
It was a time when VHS was at a high
point in the years before DVD came along and began the decline of VHS.
The action is incredible for the budget it was made on (and no one got hurt) with some great 1980s one liners.
A 24 minute retrospective featurette has
interviews with director Craig R. Baxley, and actors Dolph Lundgren and Brian Benben as they remember stories from the making
of the movie in how the stunts and effects work was done in the days before CGI explosions (they shot the actors in camera
with explosions going off in the background or around them) in addition to how the director was able to cram so much action
to the surprise of the producers (who wanted him to cut back). DARK ANGEL is
an impressive production made on a 5 to 7 million dollar budget. Too bad they couldn’t get actor David Ackroyd (Inspector Switzer- the evil FBI superior of Brian
Benben’s character) interviewed for this one (he lives in Montana near
where I am at).
Also included are the three minute theatrical
trailer and a photo/ poster gallery slide show (which is strangely missing the VHS art that says I COME IN PEACE on it).
FINAL ANALYSIS: DARK ANGEL is as great
as I remembered first watching it on VHS in 1991. It is one of Dolph Lundgren’s
better action movies. It is a nice trip of nostalgia. If you haven’t seen it, this high quality sci-fi cop actioner is a great B movie to check out that
stands above many of the direct to video stuff being put out today.
This review is (c)8-31-2013 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments
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