Steve Austin vs Dolph Lundgren on Blu-ray in ‘The Package’
New to DVD and Blu-ray from Anchor Bay Entertainment is the latest action opus from former wrestler turned actor ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and “Expendables” star Dolph Lundgren, “The Package”. The Package is directed by veteran stuntman turned director Jesse V. Johnson, so it should come as no surprise that the film is heavy on action and stunt work and light on plot. But how does the film measure up to other action fare in the Stone Cold/Dolph Lundgren cannon?
The Package Blu-Ray Review
Starring: Steve Austin, Dolph Lundgren, Darren Shahlavi, Eric Keenleyside and Lochlyn Munro
Written by Derek Kolstad
Directed by Jesse V. Johnson
Combat veteran Tommy Wick (Austin) is an enforcer and bagman for a Seattle mob boss known as Big Doug (Keenleyside). Working for Big Doug in order to pay off his incarcerated brother Eddie`s (Munro) debt, Wick is eager to accept any offer to lessen the amount. But when Wick is asked to courier a mysterious package to The German (Lundgren), he finds himself hunted by relentless teams of hit men, mercenaries, assassins and sadists. Also weighing heavily on his mind is the fact that The German and he have a checkered and violent past. The stakes are getting raised higher and the clock is ticking as the pair carves a path paved with blood aimed directly at one another.
The Package has the basest of plot and storylines, but that does not really matter here. The only reason the thin plot even exists is to delay the inevitable final showdown between Austin and Lundgren. The loose plot is fairly easy to see through, as the audience knows right away that Tommy himself is the package in question. The dialogue is bland and standard tough guy bravado, with Austin and Lundgren both getting to spout off their quips as they dispatch foes one after another. Darren Shahlavi (Kano in the new Mortal Kombat webseries ‘Legacy’) is here mainly for presence and fighting ability, he has one decent fight with Austin that manages to show of Austin’s limited fighting style very well. And Munro suffers through another sad sack role, his combined screen time lucky if it’s a 10 minute total.
The action set pieces are actually staged quite well. Lundgren can clearly still go and is pretty convincing with a knife. Inside the wrestling ring Austin was mainly know for punches and kicks and that is all you get here. Heralded more for his charisma and defiant attitude, Austin’s abilities are best when matched with strong opponents like Shahlavi and Lundgren and suffers with lower level performers. This would also explain his extensive use of guns. But Austin manages to carry his scenes through based on the charisma I was talking about. The final standoff between Austin and Lundgren is way too truncated and comes too late in the film. Despite the solid action between the two, it can only be seen as a bit of a letdown.
The Blu-Ray comes without any bells and whistles attached, just a DVD version to compliment the Blu-Ray. While The Package is mainly standard direct to video fare, seeing Lundgren and Austin go at each other, no matter how brief, is a treat. With a current price of $25 on Amazon.ca, the film may qualify better as a rental than a purchase, but The Package is still the mildest of recommends.
Till Next Time
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