Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Our film opens in the Soviet Union during the time of Glasnost. Some folks weren’t happy with this new Russia and sought to remove Prime Minister Gorbachev, and were summarily dismissed for their impudence. One of these would be a special forces soldier by the name of Kasov who saw his father, one of the hard line plotters, kill his mother and then take his own life rather than be carted off to prison. That would’ve been almost twenty years ago. My man Kasov (Dave Legeno) holds a grudge like few others and he has something real bad in mind in the latest vehicle from star / writer / AND director Dolph Lundgren in his latest action flick ‘Command Performance’.

Dolph is Joe. Just Joe. A tatted up kick ass drummer for some rock band in the USSR, imagine ‘Three Doors Down’ if Three Doors Down kinda sucked, and they are about to open for this realities version of

Brittany Spears calling herself Venus (Melissa Ann Smith). But there’s something about that Joe that has caught the eye of the tight bodied multi-millionairess that has completely grabbed my girl by the virtual Johnson. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s old enough to be her dad or the withered look or the tattoos or maybe it’s the fact that Dolph, unlike some other aging action stars whose names we won’t mention… think ‘ponytail’… still looks good with his shirt off. Whatever it is she’s gotta have her some of that.

Ain’t gonna happen right now. This concert is a big deal since the current Russian president Petrov (Hristo Shepov) is attending with his two young daughters who are huge Venus fans. Uninvited to this party is the previously mentioned Kasov and his crew of merciless mercenaries who have made their presence known at this show by opening fire on the crowd. Seriously, these cats must’ve killed about two thousand people.

What does Kasov want? He claims he wants money, at least that’s what he’s telling his crew to keep them taking orders, but his real plans are a little simpler. While this carnage was going on Joe was hitting the blount in the bathroom until he runs into one of the terrorist who suffers the always tragic death by drumstick. Eventually Joe sees something is terribly wrong. Maybe it’s the thousands of dead bodies in the rafters and in the lobby, I don’t know, but eventually he runs into a very green Russian security agent named Mikhail (Zahary Baharov) with the two of them, all by themselves, given the task to kill all of these terrorist and save the president and his young daughters. No, Joe isn’t an ex CIA badasss or an ex Special Forces badass… Joe is just your average, run of the mill 6’5" 250 pound drummer. Who used to be in a biker gang. That’s good enough for me.

I’m thinking we’ve about run out of places to put ‘Die Hard’. I’ve seen Die Hard on a bus, Die Hard on a sub, Die Hard on battleship, Die Hard on a airplane, Die Hard in a house… there was an episode of Star Trek the Next Generation where Picard didn’t get off of the enterprise in time while some terrorist got on the ship pretending to be a maintenance crew doing a barion sweep, leaving Picard, all by himself, to kick their asses. Yes, Die Hard on a space ship. Die Hard at rock concert pretty much wraps it up with the whole Die Hard angle don’t you think? There is a reason that Die Hard gets beaten to death over and over again, because for the most part it works well as a basic plot device and for the most part it works here in ‘Command Performance’.

I’ve seen quite a few of Dolph’s movies in which he’s been the director and star and Dolph the auteur, with the exception of ‘Diamond Dogs’, rarely disappoints. And since Diamond Dogs had two directors I’m going to assume that Dolph stepped in to try and save a mess of a movie, which unfortunately he was unable to do. As we have observed in Dolph’s previous directorial joints he usually didn’t give his star, that being himself, much to do except be solemn and kick plenty ass. In this one he was a little more generous to his star giving him all kinds of fun stuff to do including play drums for real, not be quite as solemn, but still kick plenty of ass.

Since we do watch an awful lot of these kinds of movies and if you watch a lot of these kinds of movies, then ‘Command Performance’ will give you pretty much exactly what you would expect. Director Dolph keeps his action fast and loose, Our bad guys are clearly defined and are about as bad as bad gets, it’s plenty violent with folks getting gored by electric guitars, stabbed straight through the skull, throats gets slit, bullets cut through flesh as if it were about to go out of style and stupid ass reporters die horrible, horrible stupid ass deaths. I’m thinking Dolph Lundgren has a problem with the press.

I could mention that a lot of this movie doesn’t make a lot of sense, but considering the last movie I saw from Mr. Lundgren was the insanely inane ‘Direct Contact’, ‘Command Performance’ was as clear as a Dr. Seuss nursery rhyme by comparison. Now if you don’t make it a habit to watch stupid action flicks then I ain’t got nothing for you. Either stop trying to watch these types of movies and stick to Steel Magnolias or whatever movie Matthew McConaughey has coming out or commit yourself to this stuff like we have. Because as far as this genre goes, ‘Command Performance’ is quite all right.

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