Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

When we first meet international real-estate agent / undercover hitman for the Russian mob Eddie Genn, codenamed ‘Icarus’ (Dolph Lundgren), he is minding his own business completely killing up a room of armed gunman, when a dude who looks like an old version of Bo Svenson (probably because Bo Svenson is old now) and his crew surround Eddie with their automatic weapons prepared to end Eddie’s life. But of course that’s the end of the story and so to get to the this point we need to start at the beginning of Dolph Lundgren’s latest blood filled hyper violent action fest, in which he directs yet again, ‘Icarus’.

Before Eddie got into this afore mentioned unfortunate situation, we see him in a happier moment spending some quality time with his skankage on the side April (Linday Maxwell) who is trying to coax a nicer ride out of her man via oral love. I think it worked. The truth of the matter is that Eddie still loves his estranged wife Joey (Stefanie Von Pfetten) so that no matter what he’s doing, even if he’s on the receiving end of a BJ, he always takes her call even if she's just delivering to him some superfluous nonsense concerning their young daughter Taylor (Katelyn Mager).

That scene was just to let us know that Eddie does possess some basic form of humanity because now it’s off to Hong Kong to carry out his other duties as the most efficient murderer the Russian Mob has on their payroll. The job goes as expected with Icarus mowing down row after row of Asian bad guys, but for whatever reason Eddie gives this one particular mobster that they were in the process of torturing a pass, despite explicit orders not to do so. A fateful decision.

Then, as Eddie narrates for us, strange thing start to happen. Perhaps not strange to us but strange to a person in the field of International Murderizing. First Eddie’s handlers are late with his money, which according to Eddie is extremely rare and makes Eddie very unhappy. Then Eddie gets a visit from a dude at his Real Estate office asking him some very, very odd questions. Odder still he gets saddled with another murder gig almost as soon as he touches down from his previous murder gig which has Eddie wondering what the hell is going on.

Sure enough Eddie has been setup, but planning to take Icarus out and actually having the skills to pull this off are two separate events altogether, as many a dead thug can attest to. Not only do these fiends want to take Eddie out, but they want to eliminate his bloodline, so Eddie has to grab his baby girl and swoop up the estranged wife… we’re not going to worry too much about the skankage on the side anymore… as the family goes into hiding from whoever it is trying to take Eddie out. But it gets even more complicated because there is another player in the game mucking up Eddie’s already screwed up life. Two words… Gub and Ment… with all of this leading us back to the terrible situation that we first encountered with Eddie Genn. What is an international real-estate agent / hitman / family man to do?

We usually have to give it up for Dolph Lundgren because his Straight to DVD action fests tend to be much better than those of his competitors, particularly the ones in which he sits in the director’s chair for. His last vehicle which we saw just a few months ago ‘Command Performance’ was probably a little better than this movie ‘Icarus’ if only because ‘Command Performance’ didn’t take itself as deadly serious as this movie did. With a tagline like ‘Dying is easy, Rock n’ Roll is hard’ they were having more fun in that one despite the much higher rate of murderization. ‘Icarus’ on the other hand, while certainly a functional action movie, was a more muted affair from the way the story is told, to the look of the movie, which is washed over in grays and blacks. This film even featured Dolph showing us some acting skills as we got to see the man show some genuine emotion and he did a pretty good job of it. FCU favorite Stefanie Von Pfetten puts in her expected solid work as the distraught wife just now learning what her really husband does for a living.

But is ‘Icarus’ a good movie… well… its okay. This is an odd mix of family melodrama and shootemup action which gives this particular movie an inconsistent tone to its narrative. Another thing is that one of the main points of this movie is the ultimate showdown between Dolph’s Icarus character and his old friend of Vadim played by Bo Svenson, but not nearly enough was done with Bo Svenson’s character to make this showdown worth much. Ultimately he was just another faceless goon that had to catch a bullet to the head. There was the typical action movie stupidity and glaring inconsistencies which are wedged in to try to make all the nonsense we have to deal with seem somewhat coherent, but by this time in the action flick game we pretty much expect this.

But despite this movies flaws we, again, tend to give it up for Dolph Lundgren who is still a very solid action star, and who unlike some of our aging action heroes still maintains a killer set of abs. I created a back story for this movie just for you guys so imagine that Ivan Drago joined the KGB after getting his ass kicked by Rocky twenty plus years ago, which seems like a logical career progression to me for Drago, and then he defects a few years later. Well now here he is. ‘Icarus’ isn’t the tightest action vie out there but Dolph and Stefanie make it work well enough to make it entertaining nonetheless.

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