Modern day Prague. A seasoned U.S. assassin for hire Ray Carver (Cuba Gooding Jr) is working far away from home, making good money doing what he does best – killing people.
Ray has his own reasons to be in Prague as well – a young beautiful girl, whom he follows every day for unknown reasons.
In the mean time, there are several crime families operating in the city, and Carver is hired by one of them to do the dirty job.
When the mission fails, and Carver realizes he’s been set up, he has very little time on his hands to figure out the situation, as one of the crime families has already hired another specialist, Alexei “The Wolf” Andreev (Dolph Lundgren) to finish the job, and get rid of Carver as well.
Having watched a lot of “straight to video, DVD” movies, this action movie was exactly what I thought it would be. If you can bear the fact that Prague was “shot” in Romania, for financial reasons obviously, let’s continue.
The $5 million “One in the Chamber” is basically a two man show, with Gooding and Lundgren. They carry the whole film, from start to finish.
However, if usually I do enjoy Cuba’s performances in such films, here he’s a lot less than impressive, as his type of “hit-man” is your usual guy.
Despite the fact that both Gooding and Lundgren are technically “bad guys”, or hitmen, the film openly shows us that Gooding is in fact a protagonist.
Lundgren is a completely different story. His character of Alexei Andreev is the complete opposite of Gooding’s. Andreev is a communist (as tattoos of Engels, Lenin and Stalin on his back show), who seems to have turned into a capitalist with a gun in his hand. He walks around in a hawaiian shirt, an old hat, he’s driving old 70s cars, and he’s ruthless too.
Lundgren gets less screen time in the film than Gooding, however his character is bigger and more interesting to explore. In the film, the “Big Swede” is billed second after Gooding, while IMDB has put the Oscar-winning Gooding after Lundgren.
Both stars get to trade blows, and they have quite a nice fight in the film – a great addition to other action that “One in the Chamber” provides. William Kaufman does a good job directing the action scenes, no shaky cam was spotted.
Cast list also includes UK veteran actor Billy Murray and Louis Mandylor, who seems to feel comfortable playing villains one film after another.
Overall, if you are able to take this film for what it is, then it is enjoyable for sure. Gooding gets one thumb up for standing up to Lundgren and even roundhouse kicking him in the face (oh yes, you get to see that one), while Lundgren gets two thumbs up for bringing such a vivid character to life.
If you like action movies, give it a look. The Trailer is below.
BZFILM SCALE: 5/10
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