Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

So I have this $5.00 VOD credit, like everybody else on the planet, and I figured it’s high time I used it on something. I could’ve watched anything. Maybe a classic like ‘Citizen Kane’ or ‘Casablanca’, or catch up on some hot new independent feature by a hot new independent director… but no… I had to watch this. I had to watch this because I’ve made it my mission to become a Brian Bosworth filmography completist. Why? Who the hell knows?

Our film, ‘Phase IV’, opens with a spirited car chase featuring a souped up Dodge Challenger chasing a Chevy Cavalier. Seems unfair. Also, if you’re trying to kill somebody via automobile, maybe a less conspicuous car than a lime green, 1969 Challenger on mag wheels isn’t the best choice. Nonetheless, the operators of this car run this kid off the road and drown him in the cold snowy lakes of Canada. Pretending to be Maine.

Now we meet ancient college journalism student and hopeful college footballer Simon Tate, as played by former Princeton Defensive Back Dean Cain. Tate has a bad knee that his good friend Doctor Ben Roanic (Stephen Coates) is helping him rehab so he can grab that last year of football eligibility. Simon has a history roids and stuff but we're not going to get into all of that, outside of the fact that The Boz let us know that ‘Steroids are bad for you’, which was pretty damn funny. But thing is that Doctor Roanic has observed that some his patients, part of a secret study involving something called Phase II, are dying mysteriously. He tries to warn one of these patients, Hallie Holt (Amy Kerr), daughter of potential U.S. Senator Diana Holt (Mimi Kuzyk) about her impending danger, but it’s too late. Worst still, super evil police detective Stephen Birnham (The Boz) has framed the doc for this crime.

What is Phase II? The doc won’t be able tell us much in a little bit, but his good friend, the journalism student / ex-athlete / ex-Navy SEAL is going to find out why his friend is no longer with us. What Simon will discover, in between kicking a lot of ass with his Navy SEAL skills and getting his bad knee constantly smashed in, is that there is an

evil pharmaceutical company who knows, like we all know, that there is no profit in cure. The last thing that the pharmaceutical industry actually cured, to my knowledge, was Polio and soon after that a lot of Polio doctors and treatment centers were out of work. Screw that and never again and the conspiracy is on.

What exactly is evil Pharm Corp trying to hide? Oh… it is explosive. Literally. Simon, with the help of the senator who wants to know what happened to her daughter, will fight and fight and fight some more to get to the truth, clear his friends name and save his wife and baby girl. Yes, he has a wife and baby girl who only exist in this movie to be kidnapped.

Watching ‘Phase IV’, a film that was about as mediocre as it gets, which is far more than we expected, we see what went wrong with The Boz’s film career. His handlers spent all of this time trying to make the guy a hero, but with his narrow eyes, the fact his brow sits on top of these narrows beady eyes and his large forehead… The Boz was designed by God to be a heavy. He’s big and mean looking and ugly. The Boz would’ve stayed employed as an actor were he steered towards bad guy roles, like the role he had here in ‘Phase IV’. This is The Boz at the top his acting game.

The movie itself isn’t an all bad a mix of clever conspiracy and tired plot devices, even though I don’t think I ever discovered what Phase IV was. I think the evil senator played by Nigel Bennett, and actor who has made a mint playing bad guys, tried to explain it to me, but I just got confused and my head started hurting. The basic plot device is actually very good and well thought out. Director Bryan Goers does a fine job of stringing this plot along, dropping little bread crumbs along the way about what the big conspiracy might be all about. Dean Cain uses his former athleticism well, relentlessly kicking people in the chest over and over again and does a decent job as our hero.

Of course we do have to suffer through the rigmarole of kidnapped family members, people given information that you know full well is going to get them killed and lot of pure insanity such as CEO’s of big pharmacy companies personally going to people’s homes to kidnap them and hold them hostage. Among other things.

Another thing is that in the movies if you are a Ranger or a SEAL, then you know everything about everything. You know how to fly a plane, pick a lock, hotwire a car, perform minor heart surgery… We know this. Why couldn’t our Navy SEAL cut the right wire on the bomb that the poor college kid was strapped to? The kid told them everything they needed to know about the entire conspiracy, while strapped to this chair, then they left and let him blow up to death. What is up with that? But when our Navy SEAL needed to turn a football field into a complex electrocution grid of death, he had no problems with that. Poor college kid.

‘Phase IV’ was decent entertainment, made all the better by Brian Bosworth’s best performance ever. Even better than his appearance as a gay pirate in the movie ‘Rock Slyde’. Don’t ask.

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