Command Performance [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray A - America - First Look Studios
Review written by and copyright: Andreas Petersen (2nd November 2009).
The Film

I feel like I should know better than to let a Dolph Lundgren movie back into my life. His movies are akin to that lover who treated you so well in the beginning (ala "Rocky IV" (1985)), but over time they changed and started abusing you (ala "Universal Soldier" (1992)). He shows promise of changing, and right when you give him a chance, he drops one of the worst movies of all time on you ("Missionary Man" (2007)). That being said, here he is, back at my front door with a movie that looked sweet, but I had to remain suspicious.

"Command Performance" tells the story of a drummer named Joe (Dolph Lundgren), and his band CMF just got a gig opening for pop princess Venus (Melissa Ann Smith). Venus has been requested to appear in Moscow by the president of Russia (Hristo Shopov), for his daughters are huge fans. Terrorists take over the show while Venus is performing, and their leader Oleg (Dave Legeno) has a personal vendetta to square away with the president.

Basically all the civilians and staff are killed by terrorists at the event, all except Joe the drummer and a presidential body guard named Mikhail (Zachary Baharov). The two make their way through the arena killing terrorists and saving wounded survivors. That is basically what the film is, as simple as that may sound. So does it work? Iím happy to say yes.

All I ever wanted out of a Dolph Lundgren movie was cheesy action with cheesy one liners, and one of the earliest kills in the movie assured me that I was finally getting this. A terrorist jumps Joe, and after they scuffle for a minute, Joe says ďWatch the hair, dude!Ē and proceeds to jam his drumstick through the bottom of the terroristís head and pop out through his eye. This is exactly the sort of cheese I wanted.

Iím not saying the film is high art, and actually Iím saying itís far from it, but I enjoyed the hell out of "Command Performance." Part of my enjoyment was not knowing exactly how cool this movie was trying to be. Lundgren, a man in his 50's, whom wrote and the directed the film, has bits of dialogue in which the character of Venus, played by the 24 year old Smith, obsesses over how hot Joe is. A director writing himself into a movie in which he gets with beautiful girls is shameless but at the same time Iím fascinated by the act. Itís so creepy that I just canít look away, which is the same reason I ďloveĒ the movie "FleshEater" (1988) by Bill Hinzman.

"Command Performance" is a movie about a drummer for a terrible nu-metal band killing terrorists in really funny ways, and then delivering some sort of rock related one liner. While I could have done with more terrible rock and roll puns, in the end, Iím happy to have finally found that Dolph Lundgren movie Iíve been looking for. With Sylvester Stalloneís "The Expendables" coming out in August of 2010, letís hope that Dolph truly has changed, and I can let him back into my heart once and for all.

Video

"Command Performance" is presented in a 2.35:1 1080p 24/fps HD picture mastered in AVC MPEG-4 compression, and the result here is pretty impressive. The movie, taking place during a pop concert, boasts many sharp colors in the form of lazer lights and strobes. Also, when the groups of people are traveling through the corridors of the arena's offices, the colors become more green and blue and fit accordingly. Maybe the picture quality wasnít as good as it should have been, containing some instances of noise, but overall I was happy with what this little action movie had to offer.

Audio

"Command Performance" is presented with an English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround sound mixed at 48kHz/24-bit, there's also an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track. The TrueHD track sadly just didnít work. I feel like the main problem here was the insufficient mix, with many instances in which the soundtrack nearly completely drowns out the action, leaving many of the gunfight feeling rather bland. In the non-action sequences the sound was clear enough and didnít bother me, it was just in really loud parts that I got distracted.
Optional subtitles are included in English for the hearing impaired and Spanish.

Extras

"Command Performance" comes with an assortment of two theatrical trailers and bonus trailers, and thatís it. However, for the first time in all of my reviews, the packaging boasts certain features that arenít on the disc. The back of the package lists ďInterviews with Dolph LundgrenĒ and ďBehind-the-Scenes Fight FootageĒ, neither of which were on the disc, nor the press release. Color me confused.

The theatrical trailers included are for "Command Performance," both as a red band trailer at 1 minute and 19 seconds, and a green band trailer at 58 seconds.

Also included are bonus trailers are for:

- "Direct Action" which runs for 1 minute and 13 seconds.
- "Monster" which runs for 2 minute and 16 seconds.
- "Direct Contact" which runs for 1 minute and 8 seconds.
- "The Code" which runs for 1 minute and 38 seconds.

Overall

The Film: B- Video: B Audio: C Extras: F Overall: B-

 


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