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The Ambassador of Cuba was killed in New York. To prevent another attack of the terrorists at the US-Cuba-summit in Prague the CIA sends one of their best federal agents, Michael Dane (Dolph Lundgren). The suspected killer Nikita is a lesbian club owner, Simone Rosset. But as usual everything is much more complicated than it seemed at first; and therefore Dane has to work much more with his brain than with his muscles to survive. Written by
I feel bad writing this review, since my far-from-perfect rating mostly reflects my disappointment in having expected a different kind of movie. Honestly, HIDDEN AGENDA is a pretty good film from Dolph Lundgren's early DTV career...if you're looking for a spy thriller. The film is directed by the maker of FIRST BLOOD and co-written by one of the scribes behind STATE OF PLAY. Contained within a low-budget sphere, the quality is there, but it just doesn't deliver the kind of thrills I want to see from the Swedish Superman. This is definitely a movie you'll have to check out for yourself to get the full gist of it, unless you're looking for a genuine action film like me - then you can save your money.
The story: CIA agent Michael Dane (Lundgren) is assigned to apprehend the prime suspect in an ambassador's murder (Maruschka Detmers) in Prague and bring her to America, not knowing that he's about to be thrown into a web political intrigue and treachery.
Considering that the film was made for a slim $7 million and as a cooperative effort among five countries, it looks admirably good. There's one embarrassing instance early in the picture where the filmmakers had to fudge a laser pointer, but otherwise, director Ted Kotcheff's capabilities shine through - not only by successfully filming scenes you wouldn't expect to find in a cheap film, but also by making the East European filming location fun to look at. Authentic Czech is spoken throughout, which is pretty nice, and the film maintains a sense of gravity and importance that'd be exceedingly rare in Lundgren's subsequent career.
The movie isn't completely without good action. There's even a segment I particularly like, wherein Lundgren has a shootout with a sniper while clinging to the ledge of a tall building. However, the problem is that very little of the action is the kind that I like. It's almost all shootouts and car chases, which leaves exceedingly little room for martial arts. Lundgren once claimed to have injured himself before he could complete all of the scenes, which might explain the lack of more hand-to-hand action, but it's still disappointing. Additionally, however good the writing might detail the progression of the whodunit-style mystery, I have to take it to point for its truly forced romance between our two leads. Apparently Dolph's charms are so great in this picture that not even a lesbian character can withstand him.
For most fans, I'd imagine the movie is at least worth a look, unless you're on the same page as me and would miss the almost-nonexistent fisticuffs.
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