Jack Caine (Dolph Lundgren) is a Houston vice cop who's forgotten the rule book. His self-appointed mission is to stop the drugs trade and the number one supplier Victor Manning. Whilst ... See full summary »
Craig R. Baxley
Waxman is a former Special Forces soldier who is now working as a heavily armed assassin for a top secret government agency. When a covert mission goes terribly wrong, Waxman and fellow assassin Clegg become that agency's prime targets.
The tough and cold mercenary Warchild, is working for the man who took care of his war training and upbringing, the greedy General Ruechang. Ruechang is planning to take over the country by... See full summary »
An elite group of "soldiers" are assigned the job of infultrating a right-wing militia group. Each team member has unique skills (what's new ?). The right wingers have a heavily guarded ... See full summary »
Hesitating in the moment he is about to kill the rebel leader, Nikolai fails and is captured. Rather than being killed outright, he is forced to undergo a shamanic initiation ritual. The ingestion of the poison of a local scorpion, and his initiation ceremony, including scarification (a scorpion), give him a new identity and role in the world -- the Red Scorpion. Written by
The initial budget was about $8 million but ended up at $16 million with all the delays and production issues. See more »
During the first chase scene, a Russian soldier fires an RPG (rocket propelled grenade) at a truck. The soldier fires the weapon even though there is clearly no rocket inserted in the launcher. See more »
Lame and overpatriotic, but not as brainless as you might think
Red Scorpion was filmed and released in the final months of the Cold War when communism was soon to fall. The 1980s saw a whole range of anti-Soviet films (which, in their style, were technically propaganda) as well as films promoting peace between the United States and Soviet Union (the most odd example probably being Red Heat)
This is certainly of the former camp. Portraying Dolph Lundgren as a mindless automaton of Soviet-era Russia, he fights with dedication for his Soviet commanders, until he is thrown in jail for drunken behaviour. There he meets a resistance fighter, who the Soviet command have designated as a terrorist threat, and learns the "truth" about the Soviet presence.
Looking beyond the mindless action scenes (which, despite the countless guns and explosions), there is a good fable about the possibility of manipulating truth, and how appearance is not always truth. It's nothing deep, and won't have film academics breaking out in a sweat, but it does add some interesting twists to the story.
Dolph Lundgren's acting, as always, does leave a lot to be desired, but then this film does seem to be concentrating more on the storyline and action. His education by an African Bushman is particularly funny, even touching at times as you see the relationship between Nikolai and the Bushman develop. It's just a shame that more wasn't made of it.
All in all, the film does try to be what it isn't but doesn't suffer for it
indeed, at times, it even shows signs of succeeding.
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