Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

"The weapon has been deployed". This is what the hardcore CIA Agent Riley’s underlings would inform him as the big ass plane over Russia or someplace drops off its package. This package would be hardcore CIA Field Operative Damian. Recognize that Riley is being played by Martin Kove and Damien is being played by Paul Logan. I think this is the only scene in this film where Paul Logan wears a shirt that has sleeves. ‘Ballistica’ is the name of this film and based on those two names alone it’s already off to a glorious start.

Damian lands at some foreign facility looking for a bomb. Damian didn’t find the bomb but what he did fine was resistance, which he dispatches with impunity, and he also finds a pretty scientist named Alexa (C.B. Parker) who had no idea she was helping terrorist create the worst weapon ever. She thought she was creating some kind of water filtration system or something. The fact that Alexa confused a Brita with a Genetic Implosion Device makes her the worst physicist ever, but we’re just going to roll with it.

Back stateside Riley confers with his boss, hardcore CIA strongman MacArthur, as they discuss how to find and put down the evil terrorist Dragomir, the one who is planning to bring down us imperialist Americans with this bomb. Recognize that MacArthur is played by Robert Davi and Dragomir is played by Andrew Divoff. I was thinking the casting in this movie couldn’t get any more golden but Davi and Divoff together? Please. Anyway, Damian really dislikes Dragomir because of some bad things he’s personally done to him and he will do whatever it takes to bring him down. Intel tells us that it looks like Dragomir is in China and now Damian and the pretty scientist have to go on a secret op get this bomb. Why the pretty scientist? She’s the only one who can defuse the bomb. Damian did give the pretty scientist a semi-erotic training session so she could protect herself since our government chose to send one lone dude and some random untrained chick to save the earth.

In this training session Damian gave Alexa a demonstration of Ballistica, a sort of martial arts with guns. Alexa would like to learn the precious art but Damian informs her you can practice for a lifetime and never master this sage and lethal technique.

Back to the here and now, the China Op doesn’t work out too good either and now the bomb is on American soil. Damian is also off the case. Now Damian has nothing to do. It seems when Damian is bored he works out. A lot. We saw him work out earlier that day and when the pretty scientist came over he was working out some more in the pool. The scientist was trying to get a love connection going on with Damian but I halfway thought our hero would beg off saying something like ‘I’d love to, but I have to do some crunches, then some reverse lat pulls… and then eat some asparagus." But he went ahead and did the damn thing. THEN did some crunches.

The fact of the matter is there’s a bomb in Los Angeles about to go off and the lives of 3.5 million people are in the balance. Worst still is that there is a mole in The Agency allowing this to happen. Will Damian, with his pretty scientist by his side, allow this to happen? You know I’m not going to be the one to spoil it for you.

It is without shame or fear of repercussion that I inform you that I mightily enjoyed ‘Ballistica’. There are challenges and flaws that this film had to overcome… flaws that it didn’t come anywhere close to actually overcoming… but we loved it nonetheless. One of the reasons is Paul Logan, fresh off the mega success that was Mega Piranha, comes through again as the stoic, stone faced, narrow eyed, emotionless hero whose muscles have muscles and a dude who will gladly put a foot up your ass. Plus I have just learned that me and Paul Logan have a lot in common. Paul Logan has a degree in biochemistry just like me. This degree is serving Paul Logan no real purpose in life, just like mine isn’t. Paul Logan is in movies. I watch movies. Paul Logan has a six-pack. I drink six-packs. The similarities are startling. Truth be told I’d give anything to have a physique like Paul Logan… as long as that anything doesn’t include working out and eating right.

‘Ballistica’ also has a story that keeps everything very simple and moving forward. Director Gary Jones and his team aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel, aren’t trying to show us how clever they can be, they are just giving us a straight story with a minor twist about bad dudes trying to do the good guys harm. Keep it simple. There was a lot of fake scientific bomb hydrolysis talk that the actors didn’t seem to have a clue about what they were talking about, but I didn’t know what they were talking about either so it all worked out. Also, despite what I’m sure was a low-low budget, this is a movie with plenty of action and considering the budget, the action was pretty good with plenty of fist fights, explosions, knife fights, an always cherished Lauren Mary Kim sighting and of course… Ballistica.

I can’t lie to you. The actual Ballistica demonstrations were pretty damn stupid. Seriously. The whole pirouetting, bullet dodging, shooting under your leg thing was silly beyond all reasonable belief. It was called GunKata in that film ‘Equilibrium’ and it was a lot like that, only lamer. But as incredibly silly as the Ballistica demos were in this movie it also kind of made this movie. The Ballistica is what actually sets this movie apart from any other run-of-the-mill low budget action flick, meaning it tried to do something different, and we would much rather have it in than leave it out.

Yes the acting isn’t of the Shakespearean Theater levels despite the presence of Kove, Davi and Divoff, and if you decide to give the narrative any kind of analytical or logical breakdown it would make zero sense… or less even. But we’re not going to that here at the FCU. We’re just happy to see a simple, no-nonsense, straight forward… somewhat stupid action flick that knows what it is. Biochem 4 Lyfe baby.

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