Bullet Points: Red Scorpion
As you might have guessed already, we at Bulletproof Action love us some Dolph Lundgren. In fact, I watched one of his films last night and no it wasn’t Rocky 4. But that is not why we’re here today. We’re here to talk about an early film from Dolph’s filmography that I consider to be one of his very best; Red Scorpion. Every action hero needs his Rambo role and this was most definitely Lundgren’s. He starts out as a dirty communist but realizes the error of his ways and kicks some serious hammer and sickle ass. I encourage you to show this movie to all of your young children and educate them on the lessons promoted within… screw communism!
The Gist: An elite Soviet Spetsnaz operator is tasked with a mission to try and locate, infiltrate, and assassinate a local African leader. Along the way, Nikolai begins to empathize with their cause and soon finds himself staring back at the life he knew with disdain.
The Cast: Dolph Lundgren plays a Soviet badass for the second time in his career and seeing him in this one you would never know that he is such a brilliant man in real life. His acting is toned down to mutterings and guttural sounds but it works for the character he is trying to portray. M. Emmet Walsh plays an annoying ass American journalist who curses his way through most of the movie but does get a few funny lines and generally hates Dolph up until the end when he goes all John Rambo on the commie bastards.
Dolph literally couldn’t find any shorter shorts than these to wear.
The Villain: Although this came out in 1989 near the tail end of the USSR, the Soviets and Cubans still work pretty well as the perfect bad guys. We’ll probably never have a built-in villainous group like that ever again. There wasn’t really one man of note that Dolph fought against although it should have been Brion James. James is underused even though his accent is God-awful. The commies fighting against our heroes are mowed down indiscriminately and the finale leaves us with the question of “will the Soviets/Cubans just give up and leave here after this defeat?” or “how many dead communists is too many dead communists?”
You’re not evil unless you get all your friends together and plot of world domination. That’s a fact.
The Action: The movie brings us directly into the Soviet War Room and gives us the mission. Dolph looks like he enjoys himself as he beats some ass at the base bar and fires a couple hundred rounds into the glassware. Infiltrating the group must have been pretty important to the KGB cause Nikolai kills a bunch of dudes in the process. The Soviets shoot up an African villain, firing mortars into it after they’re already in the town which is not a smart tactical move. I wish we had gotten a Return of the Jedi-esque battle at the end where the Bushmen used their spears against the Soviet tanks though. In the end, Dolph gets a pretty impressive killcount (thanks partly to his newly found machine gun, his Excalibur?) in what is one of my favorite Lundgren picture shows.
Sometimes the best thing to do during a gun battle is get a really good pump. Time to crank out some deadlifts!
Take it Home:
- Favorite quote: “F*ckin’ A Man!”
- Stereotypes are fun: Of course the Cuban General is dangling around a cigar.
- Don’t shoot, let’em burn: A flame thrower is a truly intimidating weapon. I’d like to see more of them used in movies.
- Location, location, location: It seems to me that the Rebel base was incredibly easy to find for the Cubans. Did the Rebels forget that they had a helicopter?
- Action Unicorn: A rare Soviet good guy in an 80’s action movie. The equivalent of seeing a Unicorn in the wild.
- Excalibur: The weapon that Nikolai uses at the end in reality is a FN FAL but heavily modified to represent a twin barrel AO-63 assault rifle that fired around an astonishing 6,000 RPM.