The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: Sweepers


The Gratuitous B-Film Column Difficulty #514: Sweepers

Whats up, everybody, and welcome as soon as once more to the internets film evaluate column that has by no means needed to bounce from an exploding practice in sluggish movement, The Gratuitous B-Film Column, and I’m your host Bryan Kristopowitz. On this situation, situation quantity 5 hundred and fourteen, I check out the low finances Dolph Lundgren motion car Sweepers, which hit video retailer cabinets in late March 1998.



Sweepers, directed by Keoni Waxman, underneath the identify Darby Black for some cause (he additionally apparently rewrote the script beneath the Darby Black identify after Kevin Bernhardt got here up with the story and wrote the unique script), is a component badass motion flick and half “actual world situation” film, kind of like Lundgren’s Pores and skin Commerce, which got here out in 2015 (take a look at my assessment of that flick right here). The actual world challenge in Sweepers is the presence of landmines in struggle zones everywhere in the world, particularly within the African nation of Angola, which is the place the film takes place. In response to imdb, Sweepers was truly made in South Africa, so at the very least the film was made on the identical continent.

In Sweepers, Lundgren performs Christian Erickson, a badass ex-American Particular Forces operator turned skilled mine sweeper, working for the anti-mine outfit generally known as the Humanitarian Order of Chivalry. Whereas working at a mine crammed website in 1993 Angola, the location is attacked by rebels and all hell breaks unfastened, with U.N. troops and Angolan military troopers taking over the rebels. Erickson will get in on the motion, too, taking out a number of insurgent troops singlehandedly. Within the midst of the chaos, Erickson’s younger son Johnny (Rowan Southern), who needed to hang around together with his father and determined to stow away on the journey to the mine website, panics and tries to run to his father for security. Sadly for Johnny, he steps on a mine and dies. Erickson sees this occur and instantly falls aside. Johnny shouldn’t have been there, Johnny shouldn’t have died, the world sucks.

Flash ahead 5 years to 1998, and Erickson continues to be working in Angola, though now he’s a depressed drunk who fights individuals in bars for spending cash. Sure, Erickson, from time to time, nonetheless clears areas of landmines, however making an attempt to save lots of individuals isn’t essentially his first precedence anymore. He’s obtained method an excessive amount of happening in his head. Whereas that’s occurring, Michelle Flynn (Claire Stansfield, doing a type of involved and worldly Kate Beckinsale/Angelina Jolie factor years earlier than it truly turned a factor), a former weapons designer turned involved citizen of the world, exhibits as much as lead a type of reality discovering fee on the prevalence of a brand new tremendous mine which will have been deployed to the world. Referred to as the A6, or “butterfly” mine, this new mine is far more technologically superior than anything within the mine world. It shouldn’t have been deployed, although, because it’s approach too lethal and harmful. And Flynn ought to know, since she helped design the weapon when she labored for Consolidated Mines (I feel that’s the identify of the mine making firm). So Flynn goes to Angola to trace down Erickson, monitor down the man who created the A6 mine within the first place, Michael Lewis (Jurgen Hellberg), and work out how the hell the A6 mines received “deployed.”

As quickly as Flynn arrives in Angola and begins poking round, she is adopted and, ultimately, attacked, by mysterious armed males led by a man named Yager (Ian Roberts). And when she finds and hooks up with Erickson, the assaults develop in frequency and madness (at one level the dangerous guys ship two helicopters after Erickson and Flynn). What the heck is occurring right here? Who, precisely, needs Flynn and Erickson lifeless?

It doesn’t take lengthy for Erickson and Flynn to seek out out that the A6 mines are related to an area diamond mine scheme that isn’t precisely on the up and up. On prime of that, there’s an actual probability that a presumed humanitarian medical operation is, in reality, a entrance for promoting these A6 mines to the worst of the worst all over the world. What the fuck, man? Who the hell would do this?

Sweepers has a clumsy opening phase. It’s full of all types of motion, together with gun battles and explosions, however for some odd cause it appears as if a very good chunk of it’s shifting at half velocity. A number of the motion is clean and fluid, whereas different sequences come off as a filmed rehearsal. As soon as the story shifts to 1998, that awkwardness disappears and the film is constant to the top. Now, that isn’t to say that the opening isn’t thrilling or cool, as a result of it’s. That slowness that pops in, although, now and again, is noticeable. The explosions are prime notch, one thing you’d anticipate with a film that options landmines. All the explosions are actual, they appear actual, and that’s all the time an excellent factor.

In terms of the “mine detection and removing” scenes that includes Lundgren’s Erickson and his trusty knife, I do not know how reasonable they’re. Is that how skilled mine detectors truly cope with mines out within the area? Do they actually take out a knife and begin poking across the fringe of the mine? The sequences the place Erickson admonishes individuals to solely stroll the place he walks appear believable, however the “knife across the mine’s perimeter” stuff comes off as one thing you’d solely see in a film. I could possibly be improper, although. Perhaps that’s how skilled mine detectors do it out within the area, or a minimum of that’s how they did it again within the day.

There’s fairly a little bit of gunplay within the film, from each the heroes and the villains. For some purpose, going into the film I didn’t assume Lundgren’s character would truly interact in a lot gunplay. I figured Erickson can be a type of “solely makes use of a gun when he completely has to” sorts of men, as a result of he was extra excited about dismantling a mine than capturing a nasty man within the face. Erickson isn’t a type of guys. Erickson has a gun on him always, and, goddamit, he is aware of the best way to use it. Erickson additionally wields a shotgun in a portion of the film, a operating motif in Dolph Lundgren films. It isn’t the small, sawed off one he’s utilized in films like Military of One/Joshua Tree or Missionary Man, although. Perhaps the manufacturing couldn’t procure one for the film?

The “social concern” facet of the plot, the entire landmine factor, is dealt with fairly nicely. The film is inquisitive about selling an agenda (“land mines are horrible”), however it is aware of that it’s an motion film at coronary heart and needs to succeed on that degree earlier than getting the viewers to purchase in on its anti-landmine message. I feel it really works. I do not know if the A6 mine is predicated on an actual world weapon, however its presence makes you consider that land mines must be stopped/banned earlier than one thing just like the A6 truly occurs. As a result of, actually, if the A6 ever turns into an actual deal mine, the world is fucked.

Lundgren is in prime type right here as Christian Erickson, the badass ex-Particular Forces operator turned depressed mine sweeper. He makes you are feeling Erickson’s ache and disgrace. He couldn’t save his son, and now he doesn’t know if he can proceed on saving everybody else in Angola from the scourge of landmines. He appears absolutely engaged within the motion scenes he’s requested to do, even when they could come off as ridiculous (there’s a scene the place Erickson slides down some stairs whereas capturing two handguns on the similar time, which is superior to see, nevertheless it’s one thing that might solely ever occur in an motion film. You ever attempt sliding down a flight of stairs? Yeah. Precisely). Lundgren’s most “what the hell?” scene includes Erickson leaping onto a shifting practice whereas driving a mud bike. It’s insane. What isn’t insane is the hat Erickson wears all through the film. It’s cool as hell. It’s like Indiana Jones’s fedora. It’s too dangerous that Lundgren hasn’t worn that hat in different films, both Sweepers sequels or simply different films. The hat is cool sufficient to be like his shotgun.

Now, there’s a trivia word on the film’s imdb web page that claims Lundgren doesn’t look after the film and that he was “disillusioned” with director Keoni Waxman’s work. I do not know if that’s true or not (I appeared a bit bit across the internets and didn’t discover a second supply for that declare). If Lundgren is dissatisfied with the film, why is he dissatisfied with it? I don’t get it. Anybody on the market have any information or perception on this declare?

Claire Stansfield does a effective job as Michelle Flynn, the ex-mine maker turned involved world citizen. She has terrific chemistry with Lundgren, and she or he’s capable of sustain with Lundgren within the motion scenes she shares with him, and she or he’s credible within the motion scenes the place she’s on her personal. She has no concept the right way to maintain a gun, however that doesn’t cease her from having one on her individual and going it alone in a harmful a part of the world. That’s cool. She doesn’t appear to work anymore, in films or in tv, and that’s a disgrace. What the heck has she been as much as since her final appearing credit score, two episodes of Frasier?

Ian Roberts is sort of the sleazebag as Yager, the lead henchman for the dangerous man. And you realize he’s a henchman due to his type of South African accent, beard, and hat (white dangerous guys in films that happen in Africa all the time put on that very same type of rise up). I feel you’ll take pleasure in the best way he goes down.

Bruce Payne, as Dr. Cecil Hoper, is extremely bizarre. As an alternative of doing a British accent or some model of a British accent, Payne does a pseudo American accent and it feels like he has an enormous wad of gum in his mouth each time he speaks. Payne powers by way of it as a result of he’s a very good actor, however, within the huge scheme of issues, his efficiency is a downer due to the accent. If he had a British accent, I guess his final scenes would have performed higher.

The soundtrack by Serge Colbert is pretty memorable, as is the music of Angolan musician Waldemar Bastos that’s used all through the film. The track “Sofrimento” that performs over the top credit is haunting and delightful. How the hell did the manufacturing get Bastos concerned on this film?

Sweepers is a terrific motion film. Full of a number of explosions and copious quantities of gunplay, it’s one of many star Lundgren’s better of the 1990’s. It has an odd opening, positive, however even when the film is awkward it’s nonetheless fairly good. For those who’re a Dolph Lundgren fan and also you haven’t seen Sweepers, do your self a favor and monitor it down and test it out. I feel you’ll prefer it.

See Sweepers. See it, see it, see it.

So what do we have now right here?

Lifeless our bodies: It needs to be over 50, perhaps much more than that.

Explosions: Tons. Massive and small. Jesus Christ, this film has lots of explosions in it.

Nudity?: None.

Doobage: A gap crawl speaking about how harmful landmines are, a canine named Argo, mine sweeping, a sudden insurgent assault, exploding camp, Mortar assault, machine gun metropolis, some actually poor “getting shot and dying” appearing, a number of massive explosions, tank hooey,. Exploding youngster, a hostage state of affairs, SWAT workforce assault, a shootout inside a home, landmines in a home, a bar struggle, gorilla press slam picket chair to the again, blood spitting, hat throwing, alcoholism, uncooked meat cleaving, helicopter hooey, mine detonation, exploding helicopter, a drunk foot race by means of a piece of land that has landmines in it, a diamond, cigarette snatching, capturing at a mine, bug consuming, soccer ball kicking, canine harassment, exploding leg, strolling in a area of mines, a number of situations of filth digging, mine deactivation, grenade launcher assault, flare gun hooey, one other exploding chopper, complete jeep abandonment, a burning village, pipe smoking, stabbing, door kicking, a protected inside a closet, a shotgun battle, face spitting, cigar smoking, face slapping, a number of situations of individuals repelling down a rope, knife throwing, man crushed by a heavy field, a really small flashlight, shovel to the again, wound fixing, a mine shootout, an underground chain response explosion, critical dust bike motion, a number of exploding crates, A6 mine to the intestine, exploding dangerous man, a kiss, and an finish crawl that advocates for the USA to desert using landmines.

Kim Richards?: Massive time.

Gratuitous: Dolph Lundgren, Dolph Lundgren working for one thing referred to as The Humanitarian Order of Chivalry, Dolph Lundgren driving, an in depth up of Dolph Lundgren’s eyes, a device used to shoot right into a landmine subject to explode landmines, Dolph Lundgren operating is sluggish movement with large explosions happening behind him, Dolph Lundgren working a machine gun on prime of a tank, FBI and ATF SWAT groups, Angola, Dolph Lundgren preventing a man in a bar, Dolph Lundgren grooving in public to an area Angolan musician, bug consuming, Bruce Payne, Dolph Lundgren digging within the dust round a landmine’s perimeter, a weak driving by means of a metallic gate scene, Dolph Lundgren sliding down a flight of stairs on his aspect whereas capturing two handguns, an underground mine operation, Dolph Lundgren on a mud bike, Unicef crates full of mines, and an finish crawl that advocates for the USA to desert using landmines.

Greatest strains: “So who introduced the tin can?,” “See, I advised you she nonetheless liked you,” “Watch your step, doc. Which one?,” “Johnny! Keep there!,” “We’re right here. The gemstone,” “I get so fucked up tonight!,” “We’re in search of the American woman!,” “You’re the white lady that desires Christian?,” “God, what are these issues everyone seems to be consuming?,” “I don’t get it, have you ever all the time been an asshole or did you’re taking classes? I took classes,” “I swept that area yesterday!,” “Hey, Doc, when did you gather all this junk?,” “You working for Uncle Sam now, massive man?,” “Step solely the place I step, until, in fact, I step on a popper,” “Give me a rely! What? I stated give me a rely!,” “Hey, cowboy! I would like my diamond again!,” “Do these locations have again doorways?,” “He’s on his approach to kick your fucking ass!,” “He’s simply doing his job,” “Nonetheless not satisfied? I’ll offer you a while to consider it,” “Wait right here my ass,” “You silly fucking bloodhound!,” and “Angels can fly as a result of they take themselves so calmly.”

Score: eight.5/





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Properly, I feel that’ll be about it for now. Don’t overlook to enroll with disqus if you wish to touch upon this text and another 411 article. You already know you need to, so simply go do it.

B-movies rule. All the time keep in mind that.


Dolph Lundgren– Christian Erickson
Claire Stansfield– Michelle Flynn
Bruce Payne– Dr. Cecil Hopper
Ian Roberts– Yager
Fat Bookholane– Previous Mo
Sifiso Maphanga– Arthur
Ross Preller– Jack Trask
Jurgen Hellberg– Michael Lewis
Rowan Southern– Johnny Erickson
Greg Melvill Smith– Senator Sheppard

(take a look at the remainder of the forged right here)

Directed by Keoni Waxman (as Darby Black)
Screenplay by Keoni Waxman (as Darby Black), based mostly on an unique screenplay and story by Kevin Bernhardt

Distributed by Vidmark Leisure, Trimark House Video, Picture Leisure, and Echo Bridge Residence Leisure

Rated R for violence and language
Runtime– 96 minutes

Purchase it right here

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