Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Not that I’m absolving Wesley Snipes of his obligations to pay his taxes to the United States government, but look at where he shoots all of his movies now. I don’t think he’s shot a flick in the United States, at least one without title ‘Blade’ on the marquis, in about ten years. So considering the brother spends so much time in Bulgaria or Romania or Aruba or Namibia, that I can see where maybe he got a little confused and forgot he was actually a citizen of these here United States and maybe he paid those valuable tax dollars to government of Romania or something. It could happen. Anyway, this brings us to one of Wesley’s Direct-to-Video gems from 2004 in ‘Unstoppable’ which wasn’t nearly as bad as I was led to believe. That’s not saying it’s the next ‘Die Hard’ or anything, but at least it was better than ‘Blade III’.

In this flick Snipes plays Dean Cage, a testosterone injected name if I ever heard one. If you ever find yourself with some spare time on your hands you play the ‘give a hero a masculine name’ game with yourself to see what you can come up with. I kinda like Jack Damage or Godfrey Battle myself. Dean is a special ops, black ops, secret ops highly trained government ghost badass who is suffering from post traumatic syndrome due to an undercover ops mission he undertook to Bosnia a few years back. His lady friend, Police Detective Amy Knight (Jacqueline Obradors), knows he needs some counseling and despite Dean’s protestations, has dropped him off at one of those ‘I’m a freakin’ crazy ass war vet’ meetings. Dean and Amy’s relationship is a complicated one as they are kind of together as mates, but not really because Dean is unable to cope with the death of Amy’s brother, who died along with the rest of the his special ops crew in Bosnia.

Meanwhile, there are some rouge CIA agents who have hijacked this secret mind control formula from the government that non-rogue CIA Agent Junod (Adawele

Akinnuoye-Agbaje – or Adebisi from ‘OZ’ as we will call him from now on) is trying to retrieve. In a chance mix-up these rogue agents mistake Dean for the government contact that some turncoat of theirs, one they’ve killed already, was supposed to meet and inject him with this serum. This stuff apparently slowly destroys your mind, makes you easily susceptible to suggestion, and then kills you after about eight hours. The perfect temporary assassin drug. Unfortunately they’ve just injected the world’s baddest man with this thing, and though he’s completely on the nut, he still snapping necks and filling suckaz with lead. So the situation is that Adebisi needs to find these guys and Dean is the key to this happening. Detective Amy needs to find her crazy ass boyfriend who’s running around the city confused with a loaded automatic weapon, the bad guys need to find Dean because they think he knows when the big money for drugs trade is going down, and Dean needs to find the antidote because his brain is being eaten away and he will be dead in a few hours time. So with failing vision, deteriorating motor skills and dissipating grip on reality can Dean Cage take out a regimen full of highly trained killers? What? Is this like the first movie you’ve ever seen?

All things considered ‘Unstoppable’ wasn’t so bad and was actually quite serviceable if not somewhat disposable entertainment. It has pretty much what you expect from an action flick with Snipes doing his trademark quick kung-fu moves, disabling fools with extreme prejudice. There’s plenty of shoot outs and folks flying through windows, dudes getting run over by cars and a big 18 wheeler tanker explosion scene which I’m certain was the second most expensive thing in the flick, right behind paying to get Wesley to sleepwalk through another performance. I probably shouldn’t say that because he WAS supposed to be in a drug induced haze during most of the movie and he did show more life in this one than he would show in the unfortunate ‘Detonator’.

This is not to say that ‘Unstoppable’ didn’t have its problems, but most of them were standard for this type of flick such as the narrative stops making any kind of logical sense midway through, or the huge gaping plot holes. You would think that a city police detective wouldn’t be able to extort highly classified information from a CIA agent, but she does. You wouldn’t think that CIA agents wouldn’t have to walk around pretending to be FBI agents in matters of national security, but apparently they do. But alas we pretty much gave up on action flicks making sense years ago.

Probably the biggest problem with ‘Unstoppable’ is the fact that Adebisi has more screen presence, is a better actor and seems to have more passion for the craft than the films star. Perhaps because name Adawele Akinnuoye-Agbaje doesn’t roll off the tongue so good could possibly be why this dude doesn’t get more work but in this flick his Agent Junod was humorous, serious, tough and engaging and I’d recommend the movie based on Adebisi alone. I’m sure it doesn’t help his career that every time we see the dude we call him Adebisi, but that what he gets for playing that particular role so damn well.

You probably already know what you’re going to get even before walking in to ‘Unstoppable’ and for the most part it delivers, and then when you toss in an Adebisi sighting, it only makes it that much more enjoyable.

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