Being a Gary Daniels fan, I was looking forward to his “Lazarus Papers” film. Since the movie promised us (besides Daniels himself) such stars as Tommy Tiny Lister, Danny Trejo and Bai Ling, i was expecting a somewhat enjoyable action movie.
The plot of the film is strange, surreal. Our hero Lonny Smith (Johnny Lee) is a man who’s got nothing to lose. He’s got a suitcase full of money, he’s slowly dying and all he wants is to find the love of his life, so he wouldnt have to die alone.
Okay, great. Then, we have a murderous ex-assassin Sebastian Riker (Gary Daniels) who operates a mail order bride scam exploiting prostitutes infected by HIV. Our hero gets mixed up with one of the girls, and falls in love. What follows is that our heroes have to go on a run, while Riker is on their tail, looking to kill them both, and get the money.
There’s also Aroon (Danny Trejo), a mysterious individual that has some sort of a gift – he can heal the sick with a touch of a hand, and I was desperately trying to see how does he fit into all this.
Tommy Lister has a small cameo as one of the men who tries to rape a prostitute, and gets his manhood biten off…, no i am not joking.
Anyway, what was the worst is the misleading cover. As I see it, the film was released under two titles, one was “Lazarus Papers”, the other was “The Mercenary”. Check out the poster for the “Mercenary” below:
Well the sad thing is this poster is completely misleading. There is almost no action at all (A couple of gunfights, and Daniels kicking the hell out of 2 guards at the local hospital), there are no choppers, and none of the leads are on the cover.
I do understand that the producers probably tried to attract viewers with Trejo (who was in Machette) and Daniels (who was in Expendables and Tekken), but this seems to be too much. Its like showing you a poster of “Jaws” and instead you get to see “family fishing” home video. You get the point.
The same is with “Lazarus Papers” – Danny Trejo is on the cover, he has a gun, while in the movie he is not the lead, and he doesn’t hold any weapons throughout the whole film.
The lead actors Johnny Lee and Krystal Vee (yes she is very cute) still have a long way to go to become good actors, and they are rather boring throughout the whole film. Tommy Lister who has been in dozens of action movies looks very pale here, he has a rather humiliating role.
There is an interesting cameo from Winston Omega (as a doctor at the hospital), who in real life is the sensei (martial arts teacher) of Gary Daniels. He probably accepted this role because Daniels asked him to.
So, to sum it up, this is a surreal action-drama. Tough men Daniels, Lister and Trejo do not act tough in this one. The rest is up to you, whether to watch it or not.
BZFILM SCALE: 3/10
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