Riot (2015) Review – ManlyMovie

Riot (2015) Review

lundgrenriotIt’s that time of month again, the time when another Dolph Lundgren VOD movie shows up.  Aren’t they monthly now?  I don’t know, man, I can’t really keep up.  I’m not sure what this streak of movies is all about.  I’ve read some of Lundgren’s fanboys speculate that these movies are to fund living expenses for Los Angeles, because ‘that type of area isn’t cheap’.  The reasoning before that from fanboy insight was that Lundgren was going through a divorce and that those aren’t cheap either.

I hope it’s neither, because it’s wrong to deliberately appear in trash movies, expecting your fans to pay for them, doubly so when your face is front and centre on the cover, despite bare minimum screen time.  It’s another con.

We’ve been here before.  A man called Jack Stone infiltrates his way into prison in order to get medieval on a crime kingpin who killed his wife.  The lead actor here is Matthew Reese and the kingpin is Chuck Liddell, playing Balam, who lives like a ‘king’ within the prison walls.  He has the guards under his thumb and, apparently, the entire county around the prison.  He’s also a Russian, because you know, they just have to be the bad guys – zero points for originality there, how many nationalities are there in the world?  Elsewhere, Lundgren continues with his experimenting as an actor, playing a timid floor cleaner convict, who is older and wiser and there to watch Stone’s back.  It’s a different role for Lundgren, not your typical hard man.  Danielle Chuchran shows up as well as a female convict with her own agenda.

I’ll get the few decent things out of the way here first.  Now unlike Bruce Willis, who shows up in movies like this with a completely sullen ‘I hate all you motherfuckers’ look, Lundgren as usual puts some effort into his performance, which isn’t to say the man has developed into a thespian.  There are also some so-so fight scenes, which in a movie as bad as this is probably an achievement, for example there are good choreographers and little camera shaking.  To also ease the tedium, Danielle Chuchran is as hot as hell.

That said, this movie is an affront to paying customers.  The lead is Matthew Reese, who most will probably not have heard of.  He has the most screen time.  Yet on the two movie posters I have seen, they suggest that Dolph Lundgren and Chuck Liddell are the co-leads.  But they’re barely in it!  For the first half an hour, I literally decided to count the seconds that Dolph Lundgren is on screen.  27-30 seconds, with his entire screen time being about eight minutes.

Something else caught my attention, Chuchran has a similar role to Lundgren in this movie and it appears to me that she was simply filling in parts of the movie that Lundgren should otherwise have been in, like they just re-wrote scenes for another person they could afford to fill the void. This is particularly evident with the ‘twist’ at the end, which could be seen coming from 10 thousand yards out.