Released in cinemas here in January 2002, the long delayed Sly Stallone thriller is unlikely to get a US domestic release and its understandable. On the one hand this isn’t as bad as it could be, the film does have a handful of elements going for it such as a solid cast, a surprisingly dark and half-decent serial killer cop thriller setup in the opening 15 minutes, and a good locale. On the other though, the film is most certainly a dud with lazy directing, poor script and muddled story.
The idea of having a group of people with checkered pasts, one of whom is a killer, in an isolated location where they start dying one by one is not new. Agatha Christie’s story “And Then There Were None” written many decades ago remains the most memorable to use this formula – so good that there’s been at least five different film interpretations of it.
Sadly this lacks the complexity of that story, yes there is a mystery element to it as to who the killer is but funnily enough right from the start it drops BIG hints and if you can’t guess it you should stand ashamed. The location of a snow bound underground concrete bunker does make for a good setting, but its never used to its full potential – there’s plenty of ‘idiot walks down dark corridor alone’ style scenes which are not particularly connected and seem randomly slotted in at times which results in big continuity problems as this hooded murderer seems to be everywhere at once.
Sylvester Stallone gives a little better than his usual standard performance as he underplays it, whilst Dinah Meyer has a small but crucial role in the start and has good chemistry with Stallone which makes you wish she had a bigger part. Sadly none of the other male actors really leave an impression – Kristofferson, Dutton, Berenger are all utterly forgettable. Only Robert Patrick as a gym pumped hothead gets to chew up the scenery and he has a good time doing it.
DOP Dean Semler makes the best use he can of the limited locales to give us some nice visuals, and Director Jim Gillespe can convincingly pull off some creepy sequences (esp. in the opening) but there’s just not enough here. The characters are dull, the story bare bones at best and there’s just no interest in finding out who the killer really is even if you can’t figure it out. Not a horrible movie, just a by the numbers thriller that’s ultimately pointless.