Blackjack Release Date: 1998 Genre: Action | Thriller Director(s): John Woo (Windtalkers, Face/Off) Writer(s): Peter Lance (Without Warning) Starring: Dolph Lundgren, Fred Williamson Yep, you’re reading this right. John Woo, the same man who recently wasted $100+ million of MGM’s money on the movie Windtalkers, once directed a Dolph Lundgren film. Despite recently becoming a […]

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Blackjack
Release Date: 1998
Genre: Action | Thriller
Director(s): John Woo (Windtalkers, Face/Off)
Writer(s): Peter Lance (Without Warning)
Starring: Dolph Lundgren, Fred Williamson

Yep, you’re reading this right. John Woo, the same man who recently wasted $100+ million of MGM’s money on the movie Windtalkers, once directed a Dolph Lundgren film. Despite recently becoming a Hollywood hack, Blackjack was directed around the same time of the fantastic Face/Off, so its chances for success were very likely.

Well, too bad. Blackjack, designed to be a TV movie (whether or not it actually premiered on that medium is unknown to me), is utterly forgettable and downright ridiculous.

After an awesomely hokey opening scene that has Lundgren just annihilating a group of thugs, Blackjack comes to a screeching halt and never manages to get moving again. That’s because Jack Devlin (Lundgren), a former U.S. Marshal now enjoying the retired single life, gets handed a lot of TV movie problems and responsibilities. During the aforementioned shootout, a bright light left him temporarily blind. Upon regaining his vision, Devlin’s psychiatrist establishes that he has an extreme phobia to the color white. Seriously. Of course, the enemy will later use that to his advantage.

That’s not the only woe of Devlin’s. The local gangster’s cronies have killed the parents of the little girl he was protecting during the initial battle. So you’d expect the rest of the movie to feature Lundgren kicking their collective asses, right? Think again. In an unrelated plot, Devlin’s former partner (Williamson) gets shot while trying to protect a budding supermodel from an unknown psychopath. So instead of avenging the parents’ deaths, whose daughter he now shares custody of with a gay pirate, he goes on the supermodel case. Boredom ensues.

Damn you John Woo. If you’re not going to deliver throughout the entire hour and forty minutes, don’t bother to at all. That opening scene is fantastic, and I venture to say worth a discounted rental. But the next ninety minutes is pain-inducing crap.

Blackjack is just a total TV movie that contains all of the typical bad traits, including a score that features at least one saxophone track.

DVD: Barebones.

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