REVIEWS: Action & Thrillers — September 29, 2013 at 12:17 am

REVIEW: Ambushed aka Hard Rush (2013)

Ambushed-2013Frank (Daniel Bonjour, whom action fans might remember from 90’s sci-fi Project Shadowchaser 2) is living his “American Dream” – being a drug addict, a drug dealer that likes high stakes and risks.

Him and his partner Eddie (Gianni Capaldi) are doing fairly good with their drug-dealing business, getting their hands dirty, when necessary and earning money.

And yet in this “line of work”, as Frank puts it – there are a lot of obstacles – like untrustworthy dealers, dirty cops, bad quality merchandise and so on. And speaking of dirty cops, one such is Jack Reiley (Randy Couture), who is not just dirty, but violent and drug-addicted as well. Reiley is one of those, who will bite your hand off if you show the finger.

Prior to dealing with Reiley, it all starts going wrong earlier – Frank decides decides to “take over”, and kills two middle men, who were working for a drug lord Vincent Camastra (Vinnie Jones), in order for him and Eddie to deal drugs directly.

Camastra soon learns whats up, and now Frank and Eddie have to deal drugs for him, otherwise they’re dead. At the same time, Reiley, who is also connected to the drug dealing thing is closing down on Frank.

Frank has been putting money away and he has found himself a nice girl, he would want to settle down with. Of course, being in a drug-dealing business means you can’t just sign some papers, proudly say “I quit” and shut the door on your way out.

Soon, the DEA gets involved, in the face of veteran agent Evan Maxwell (Dolph Ludgren), who is leading the investigation involving the death of two drug-dealing middle men mentioned earlier. Maxwell has enough of problems as well – aside from the case, an agent he’s involved with has been working undercover and may have gone too deep.

All of the leading characters in the film are doing everything they can to get what they want, killing people along the way.

The expectations for “Ambushed” or “Hard Rush” weren’t very high, as obviously the film didn’t have the biggest of budgets, despite having some familiar faces in it.

The cover proudly says “The Dream team of Action Cinema”. If we judge by the names – yes, the film does have Lundgren (an established action icon), Randy Couture (sort of became an action star, thanks to Stallone’s Expendables), and Vinnie Jones (a lot of action films, yet never really an action star).

Basically, that would be good enough for the cover, to sell the film to the interested audience.

The film itself is more of a crime thriller than an action movie. Director Giorgio Serafini doesn’t have that much of an experience with action movies, thus the film at times drags a lot, and the “shaky cam” during some action scenes is at least annoying.

Despite having legendary Benny “The Jet” Urquidez as a fight coordinator and both Couture and Lundgren get to fight a couple of times, the “shaky cam” ruins those moments.

Vinnie Jones plays his usual, mean-looking villain, and his role is quite cliche. Sadly, this has become “a usual” for Jones, judging by most of the parts that he has been picking up lately.

Another problem with “Ambushed” is that it has several story lines which develop pretty much at the same pace, without any particular character standing out. Lundgren’s character is not really the leading one, as is Couture’s. Vinnie Jones has slightly more than a cameo, and the rest of the actors play really standard-type, bleak characters. It all seems way too formal.

It seems like people who worked on this film, have signed a 3-picture deal. Gianni Capaldi (plays Eddie) is the producer here, as he’s also produced two other movies, starring Dolph Lundgren, Vinnie Jones and all directed by Giorgio Serafini – “Blood of Redemption” and “A Certain Justice”.

As for “Ambushed” – it is worth a look once, if you want to see Lundgren, Jones and Couture on the screen together. There are a couple of rather lame fight scenes, some t&a, but lack of budget occasionally pops out.



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