Bullet Points: Diamond Dogs
I’ve been watching Dolph Lundgren beat people up for 30 years now and while I never get tired of it sometimes Dolph seems like he could use a rest. That’s how I felt while watching Diamond Dogs. Dolph looks tired, he acts tired, and the finished product is one that will make you question whether or not Dolph has “it” anymore. Thankfully, Mr. Lundgren has shown us that he isn’t quite over with yet and that this film was nothing more than a speed bump per se.
The Gist: A security expert named Xander Ronson (Dolph Lundgren) is hired to guide and protect and expedition to find an ancient Buddhist artifact worth millions of dollars.
The Cast: I love me some Dolph Lundgren but this is not a good look for him. He sleep walks through this movie and barely has the Dolph charisma that we’re used to. He can do an entire movie while saying very little (Red Scorpion) and it not be a shit-show, but this was one of those times where he had to carry the film and his character was not up to par. The cast around him must have been found at a local flea market as they had very little acting skills to speak of and the main villains were all just a bunch of stunt men who are used to dying. I guess that would explain why it was so easy to kill all of them. Nan Yu, who was in The Expendables 2 as Maggie plays a small role here as Anika but she isn’t on screen much.
In the land of the short, the tall man is king.
The Villain: Some Russian guy…that’s all we really know about the villain here. Upon further investigation, his name appears to have been Zhukov. What was his deal? We never really find out. He shows up and offers to buy the artifact from Xander if he steals it but Dolph being the honorable mercenary he is, refuses. It seems like a real mercenary, whose only reason for following anyone is for money, would take the bigger payday. Zhukov is not only worthless as a character but he is also a shit fighter as Xander takes him out in about 10 seconds. His right hand man who also didn’t have a name put up a pretty good fight but Dolph feels like he’s 75 years old in this one so even though it’s the best fight here, it’s still not very good. There are also a bunch of random Asian dudes kickin’ it with the three Russian guys. They are nothing more than cannon fodder as they provide human-sized targets for Xander’s bullets and aggression. Luckily he kills most of them by breaking their necks or knifing them to death. Zhukov might as well have hired a bunch of children.
A wicker chair could have played this part better.
The Action: The action is not unlike every other part of the movie, it sucks. The couple of scenes that could have been good (the chase and the final gun battle scenes) were just as bad as or even worse than the rest of the movie. We kept hearing about this ancient artifact that was worth millions and it was just buried in a tomb. It was the easiest artifact to find in the history of artifacts. They had some special map when all they really needed was for some guy to tell them that it was inside the tomb with the big horse symbol on it. I’m sure any person who has ever seen that giant tomb could have taken it. Indian Jones would have found that shit in like 60 seconds. As soon as they leave the town to go on their “expedition”, they are accosted by some local bandits who want paid a toll to travel on their road. Instead of paying said toll, Xander kills all 12 of them without so much as thinking twice. The bandits must have done that before but you wouldn’t be able to tell cause they were so shitty at it.
Take it Home:
- Narration: The movie starts and ends with an absolutely horrible narration by Xander.
- Favorite quotes: “I’ll pay ya and it won’t be in money!” As Xander shoots the bandits.
- Military history: At one point they say Xander was a Captain who was in charge of a platoon of Green Berets…none of that even makes sense. Do some god damned research people!
- Half now, half later: When Xander pays a guy for his services, they agree half now, half later. Instead of just paying him half, he slices the money in half and the guy is cool with it. What a couple of morons.