Bullet Points: Sanctuary (1998)
I have been bitten by the Mark Dacascos bug. After watching Instinct to Kill last month, it wasn’t long before I checked out Kickboxer 5 starring Dacascos. I even watched Double Dragon recently. When I noticed Mark’s 1998 film, Sanctuary, was currently streaming on Netflix, I couldn’t resist…
- The Premise: Mark plays Luke Kovak, a former Black Ops agent for the CIA. After one of his fellow agents is sacrificed on a mission, he wants out and goes into hiding. He joins the monastery and eventually winds up as a priest in Chicago. The saying no good deed goes unpunished comes into play as Luke (known as Father John in the priest world) has a story written about a food drive he’s working on for the church… his picture ends up in the paper and a former colleague (and lover) Rachel tracks him down and warns him that the Black Ops group he used to call family will soon be hunting him down, seems they were none too happy that he departed on such bad terms.
- Origin Story: The movie features a lot of flashbacks (a staple in the action movie industry) where the viewer gets to put all the pieces together of how Luke became a Black Op and what forced him to leave the group. The head of the group, William Dyson, recruited kids who had lost their parents. He took them in and from a young age they were taught the martial arts, firearms, foreign languages and what every youngster needs to know, how to deactivate bombs.
- The Tape: The reason Kovak’s former team is hunting him down is he has a tape that would incriminate Dyson and the man Dyson wants in power as the National Security Advisor to the President. If this movie was made about 10 years later, Kovak could have just uploaded the video to You Tube when he got home instead of hiding it under the alter at the church he worked at.
- The Character You’ll Love To Hate: Jaimz Woolvett plays Dominic Grace, a fellow Black Ops agent who is envious of Luke’s skills and life and becomes hell bent on hunting him down per Dyson’s orders. It is always important to have a person fill this spot, because when they get their ass kicked by the hero you get that all important feeling of satisfaction.
This was a solid piece of action movie business. We don’t get to see a lot of Dacascos’ martial arts skills in this one, but there’s still plenty of gun play and explosions to keep things interesting. If you have Netflix, do yourself a favor and look this one up, I don’t believe you’ll be disappointed.
And as is customary, I will share a few more things to look for while you watch…
- Dancing With What Brung Him: As a priest Luke (aka Father John) helps out a young homeless girl named Jinx. This will no doubt bring back memories of Dacascos helping troubled teens in Only The Strong. In fact, of all the action stars in the universe, Mark Dacascos is the one I could legit see going to a community center or school and helping out during his free time. No cameras would be present, it wouldn’t be a PR move, just something he wanted to do. He seems like a genuinely nice guy.
- If You Ever: …wanted to see a guy get hit by two cars in the span of a minute, this is the movie for you. He pretty much “no sells” the first car, but the second one kills him dead.
- Facial Hair: Once again the power of facial hair is on display in Sanctuary. With the goatee Dacascos is a trained killing machine, without he is a priest who runs a food drive.
- Man of the Cloth: At one point in the movie, not fully trusting Rachel, Luke asks her to strip to make sure she’s not wired… unfortunately he tells her to stop before the good stuff is revealed so don’t get your hopes up fellas.
- Luke vs. Armored Vehicle: At another point, Luke is about to be run down by an armored vehicle, I was hoping he’d utilize his martial arts to destroy the vehicle. I once saw Storm Shadow do it on an episode of G.I. Joe. Speaking of G.I. Joe, Dacascos would have made the perfect Quick Kick had they made a G.I. Joe film back in the early 90’s.