|Index||4 reviews in total|
The good parts- an actually interesting concept, so okay (but not
great) action scenes. Lots of okay sex scenes.
The bad parts- The movie starts out very slow. A lot of characters are introduced with no real background as to who they are or what they are doing there. Some truly atrocious acting.
So why am I giving it a good rating? Because unlike a lot of big budget movies, these guys actually made an effort.
The plot is that the US has collapsed into anarchy, the UN has taken over, and the masses are being mollified by a virtual reality game that involves a lot of stock footage, some various re-enactment groups and some fairly unconvincing fight sequences. The action centers around a rebel named Singleton, who survives fight after fight with a hunter named Deitreich, whom he had crippled in the real world.
Meanwhile, his fellow rebels plan to defeat the evil corporation by implanting a virus into their computer which will not only destroy the game, but blow up their headquarters.
It silly, but it's fun.
In his book "Film is Hell" Matt Howe who shot this and many other bad
films for Sultan Films claims that this film is slightly better than
the worst movie ever, Air Boss. Of course I had to decide for myself.
This film does have somewhat higher production values than Air Boss. Robert Davi seemed to have enjoyed the R.D. Crowley character, probably because he just had to sit around saying evil dialog and smoking a cigar and not doing much. He was entertaining to watch in the small doses we're given. Kayle Watson is given a good role meaning his dialog is all small words and short sentences which he can handle. J. Christian Ingvordsen (writer, director, etc.) who plays the evil German Heinz Dietrich is obviously copying Robert Shaw's performance in The Battle of the Bulge -- the squinting mannerisms and overdone German accent is completely identical, so at least he knew where to steal. Absolute Aggression also has a more linear plot than Air Boss which appeared to be (but weren't) three television episodes stuck together.
Unfortunately this plot is a blatant and shameless formula for collecting completely random footage as "virtual reality" scenes with reused locations, sets, costumes and even footage from other Sultan productions. The action scenes are disoriented with swords flying in random directions, guns shooting in random directions, and little to clue the audience into what's supposed to be happening. These scenes go on forever and could have been exciting if they had been choreographed properly. They're nothing more than a bunch of guys with fake weapons and no idea how to use them. And meanwhile there are actual stories happening in the plot which could have been interesting if a few more minutes had been given to them.
Matt Howe also outdid himself in the photography with his overuse of Dutch tilts. Far too many scenes are shot with the camera needlessly tilted. I'm guessing that Howe thought this would be a sign of good planning (you can't cut to another scene tilted in the same direction) but it quickly became a distraction instead of adding tension. It's not Howe's fault that Battlefield Earth would make the Dutch tilt a cinematic joke a few years later.
I would have to put Air Boss about a half point higher than Absolute Aggression. Both are shamelessly padded but Air Boss's episodic formula bothered me less than the long terrible action scenes in Absolute Aggression. I also had some understanding of the characters in Air Boss while Absolute Aggression had little character conflict other than that between Dietrich and Crowley.
The movie's premise is that by 2011, the USA economy has collapsed,
crime and unemployment are rampant, and the UN now controls the
country. With prisons overflowing, virtual reality gaming offers the
public a needed diversion. Prisoners fight for their lives ("die in the
game, die in life") in middle ages' jousting, viking raids, 17th
century US/British fort battle, and jet fighters dog fighting
scenarios. What little remains of the US army, have become rebels
dedicated to freeing prisoners and destroying the gaming system. Not
bad, sounds promising.
Unfortunately the dialog is poor which translates into mediocre acting. As for action, the gun play is comical; actors shoot wildly in various directions without ever aiming, and the act of poking their heads around corners and shooting alternates between good and bad guys. It seems like no one in the cast has ever held a firearm before. The sword play is not much better, with some obvious fatal thrusts under the armpits of the victims. At one point our heroes make their escape on a two seater ATV, which I would guess has a top speed of 20 mph, but that's all the speed they seem to need to, out run soldiers who are only a split second behind (and lack the marksmanship hit a target just in front of them) and zigzag between pursing tanks (which they blow up with dynamite sticks).
It gets worse. The sets are improvised and revolve around an abandon industrial warehouse. Prisoners in suspended animation sleep on a racking shelving system available at Walmart, the VR goggles are adorned with gold document stickers available at Staples, prisoners are moved about in a plastic dumpster (the type apartment buildings use for recyclables), surgical tubing is used for handcuffs, the knights helmets are obviously made of cardboard/plastic, and I could go on, but you get the idea.
To top things off amateurish titles and special effects that could be (and probably were) created on a PC, are dispersed throughout.
This flick does have a few redeeming scenes, to men at least. Topless nudity is featured prominently. Amy Lynn Baxter (formerly a Playboy playmate and a Penhouse pet) has an incredible set. Then there's the viking raid scene, where four women run around topless and get there tops ripped off (repeatedly in that order).
If you're thinking, hey I got a camcorder, a PC with simple video editing software, a few days to write a script, two dozen friends who can serve as crowds/soldiers/prisoners/commandos/indians/knights or whatever, some stock news footage that can be spliced in, cooperation from the local army reserve detachment, and maybe some government funding (to pay for Amy Lynn's topless scene). Then you've hit on the formula for this venture.
J. Christian Ingvordsen wrote, directed and stars (as the main villain) in this venture. It wouldn't surprise me if he claimed to be a reincarnated Edward D. Wood Jr. A+ for tenacity in getting this thing made. If you're a fan of low budget movies then this flick might be of some interest, but still does not have the appeal of Mr. Wood's cult classic turkeys. By the way the DVD previews other movies from Mr. Ingvordsen. Airboss (1.8 IMDb rating), Bog Creatures (2.5 IMDb rating), both distributed by mtiVideo, I don't intent to see either or visit the web site.
Why did I bother renting and watching this to the end? Good question. My gym offers free movies, to encourage members to return for another workout before $5/day late fee kicks in, and on that particular night little else was available. I watched it mostly thinking I could do better, and the topless scenes prolonged my attention as well. Maybe having free movies at the gym is not such a good idea. I need to find another gym before this happens again.
A 2 on 10, out of respect for getting this thing made some how. OK, OK, the rating is mostly for seeing Amy Lynn topless.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm actually at a loss for words. It's obvious the actors read the
script while getting into costume, if you want to call them actors, and
if you want to call what there getting into costumes.
One specific scene epitomizes the entire movie. A specific scene where the main characters fight off a group of tanks with nothing more than a four wheeler, a few sticks of dynamite, and a cigar. The only redeeming quality that seemed to target a certain audience was the topless female nudity, not to mention it stars a female porn artist. This could either be construed as a unprovocative porn or an unprovocative motion picture. Either way, you lose.
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