The Defender Release Date: 2004 Genre: Action Director(s): Dolph Lundgren (The Mechanik) Writer(s): Douglas W. Miller Starring: Dolph Lundgren, Jerry Springer, Shakara Ledard After being a tad bit let down by the all too typical Direct Action, I wasn’t all that excited for The Defender. Even with Dolph Lundgren making his directorial debut, I wasn’t […]

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The Defender
Release Date: 2004
Genre: Action
Director(s): Dolph Lundgren (The Mechanik)
Writer(s): Douglas W. Miller
Starring: Dolph Lundgren, Jerry Springer, Shakara Ledard

After being a tad bit let down by the all too typical Direct Action, I wasn’t all that excited for The Defender. Even with Dolph Lundgren making his directorial debut, I wasn’t really clamoring to get my hands on this one. Shame on me, though, as it turns out The Defender is the best direct-to-video film Dolph’s ever done.

The story is a lot more complicated and twisted than the usual Dolph flick. What we’ve got is Dolph Lundgren playing Secret Service Agent Lance Rockford, who is still suffering emotional trauma from his time during the Gulf War. He was caught and tortured by terrorist Mohamed Jamar’s faction. More than a decade later, unbeknownst to him, he’s protecting the head of the National Security Agency as he meets with Jamar in a hotel to grant him immunity in exchange for Jamar going underground and never again surfacing. A group of rebel patriots, which include an advisor to the President and a senator, have monetary concerns that relate to a war on Jamar’s group, and have hired a group of ex-soldiers to infiltrate the hotel. Dolph Lundgren doesn’t take kindly to terrorists, regardless of their nationality, so he and his group take to the task of picking them off.

Let’s not forget who plays the President of the United States; Jerry Springer. His scenes represent one of the few unredeemable elements of The Defender. These scenes are mostly present to keep the budget manageable, as its obviously much cheaper to film fifteen minutes or so of talking in an office then fifteen minutes of action. If these scenes accomplish anything, it’s that it keeps the A-storyline tight.

Lundgren manages to rock out not only the directing, but also the acting. Both Lundgren and the movie itself are gritty. He has improved spectacularly over the past twenty years. It’s sad that Hollywood no longer believes people over 35 can be action heroes, as Dolph is tremendous here.

Speaking of action, The Defender will not be confused for a political drama. While there is some intrigue to be had, The Defender is a violent and fun action film that manages to have those qualities without becoming ridiculous. Even though I enjoyed it for what it was, this was what happened with Detention a couple years back.
DVD: Barebones.

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The Defender, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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