Up 13,292 this week

Mercenary (1996)

Video  -  Action | Thriller  -  17 January 1997 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.1/10 from 265 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 4 critic

Jonas Ambler is a rich businessman who's wife is killed by kidnapers. So he decides to get even. He hires a mercenary to find and kill the kidnapers. There's only one catch, he wants to go ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 543 titles
created 19 May 2012
a list of 286 titles
created 13 Dec 2012
a list of 230 titles
created 11 months ago
a list of 2445 titles
created 1 month ago

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Mercenary (Video 1996)

Mercenary (Video 1996) on IMDb 5.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Mercenary.




Cast overview, first billed only:
Capt. Karl 'Hawk' May
Jonas Ambler
Jack Cochran
Alan Bailey
Joanna Ambler
Bad Dave
Michael Reid Davis ...
Bandit Boss
Kevin Knotts ...
Mark Poitras ...
Commando Man #1
Robert Werhan ...
Bryan Lee ...


Jonas Ambler is a rich businessman who's wife is killed by kidnapers. So he decides to get even. He hires a mercenary to find and kill the kidnapers. There's only one catch, he wants to go with them. Written by Brian W Martz <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Thriller


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 January 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mercenary  »

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


See  »

Did You Know?


Followed by Mercenary II: Thick & Thin (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Starts promisingly, but then.....
24 October 2003 | by (Darlington, England) – See all my reviews

Written by the same guy who wrote those other Olivier Gruner films, Savage and Automatic, this follows the same formula of starting of very promisingly, and rapidly descending into - at times mind-numbing - boredom.

The story is good - Jonas Ambler, a rich and arrogant businessman (the late John Ritter, pretty good here, but too likable for the role he's playing) sees his wife murdered before his eyes and so teams up with tough guy mercenary Hawk (Olivier Gruner - not many lines, but he does the hard-man act pretty darn well.), and together they go after Phoenix

  • the Russian mercenary leader behind it (b-movie regular Martin Kove).
It starts off well, introducing us to the lead characters, showing Amblers wife gunned down in an action-packed scene, then showing Hawk rescuing a kidnapped schoolgirl ( a very young Jaime Pressley ) from a bar full of redneck thugs. This scene has nothing to do with the films main story, but its probably the best bit of the film!

But from promising beginnings, the story just becomes tiresome. There was potential here to make a good buddy movie, as the spoilt millionnaire and the emotionless mercenary forge a reluctant friendship through battle, but it just doesn't really happen. At no point do the two characters seem to particularly like each other.

On top of the wasted premise, another problem is the films boredom-factor. Even the so-called 'action' sequences were tiresome and dull - when you rent a film starring Olivier Gruner, you should at least expect a few decent martial arts moments, but instead you get boring fights and endless gunfire. A real disappointment was Oliviers fight with Phoenix - it was over before it had even started!

And another mystery to me - why do these cheap low-budget films like this (and Savage) try to have scenes involving special effects that go waaaaay beyond the budget restraints? Check out the helicopter scene, and prepare to laugh at the toy chopper, the stock-footage and the superimposed explosion!

Overall, a film that starts off well, and looks to be enjoyable, but soon looks as if the writer has lost his way. Apart from the beginning, there was little here i enjoyed. Just like Savage and Automatic, this is one for the die-hard Olivier Gruner fans only.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
CHEESY!! skskillet
Discuss Mercenary (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: