Queen's Messenger (2001) Poster

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A poor show indeed for Daniels fans
HaemovoreRex27 April 2010
Gary Daniels headlines in this sadly flat and by the numbers action flick which was shot on the cheap in Eastern Europe.

Our man plays Captain Strong of the SAS who is assigned the task of Queen's messenger - a role which seems to attract trouble like a magnet. Indeed, no sooner has our hero cuffed the requisite briefcase to his arm, he is besieged by a succession of loonies, all eager to murder him and anyone around him. Unfortunately, the above synopsis probably makes this sound much more interesting than it actually transpires on screen; In fact, in regretful truth, the film itself is somewhat of a chore to sit through from beginning to end suffering from bland action scenes, clunky dialogue and some pretty risible acting from most of the (clearly non-English speaking!) cast. Most disappointing of all,Daniels himself hardly gets to show off his fine martial arts skills! - Sacrelige!!!

How sad especially, to compare the production values of Daniels earlier, Fist Of The North Star to this shoddy effort made only five years later. A real shame for Daniels who could and indeed should, in an ideal world, have gone on to much greater things.
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Strong on action
Peter Forster17 June 2003
Imagine a sandwich of gun fight, car chase, fist fight, gun fight, sex, car chase, gun fight etc, with thin slivers of dialogue in between to explain why the protagonists are fighting or chasing each other. Our hero, Captain Strong, is diverted from his day job in the Special Air Service to take on a diplomatic mission to one of the former Soviet republics. With steely eyes and firm chin he manages to avoid several million rounds of ammunition fired in his direction by some very bad men and still finds time to engage in unprotected sex with attractive women who can scream very loudly when necessary. Nice to see that Brits can still save the world and avoid STDs.

Noteworthy for providing an account of how Saddam Hussein hid some of his weapons of mass destruction. Turn off brain, forget about plot and enjoy some jolly decent baddy-bashing.
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"Rrr! Die! Rrr!"
The_Phantom_Projectionist23 November 2015
After working as a full-time action hero for nine years, Gary apparently chose 2001 as the year to begin a hiatus from filmmaking. This was just as well, because the man's supply of decent movies was definitely drying up. QUEEN'S MESSENGER – the sequel to WITNESS TO A KILL – is the last film Daniels released during the golden era of his career, and the fact that it has yet to receive a Region 1 release is far from mystifying when you see how boring it is. This is a dreary, international thriller with mostly sluggish action scenes and a handful of bad directorial decisions that seal the film's tedium.

The story: While delivering a top-secret communique to Kazakhstan, Captain Anthony Strong (Daniels) is caught up in the revolutionary plot of a violent separatist (Christoph Waltz) to overthrow the government.

The movie's predecessor was not perfect by any means, but in comparison to its sequel, WITNESS TO A KILL is an action masterpiece. I counted only two full-length fight scenes, and while one of these is pretty decent, it cannot make up for the poor quality of the rest of the action content. The shootouts are old hat, but the two lengthy chase scenes are so very, very boring. Whether Gary is on a motorcycle or in a tank, the pursuits he's in are relentlessly slow-paced and devoid of surprises, making what would otherwise be the adrenaline highlights of the movie simply chores to sit through.

The Bulgarian shooting location - with its gray and white color palette - is boring to look at, and the prominence of European actors speaking in accented English gets all the more tiring thanks to the dopey dialogue ("Get me closer; I want to kill the bonehead"). Costar Trie Donovan delivers the best performance of the cast as an international reporter, even though her character mispronounces words like "Sunni" and "Czech." Everyone else is pretty lackluster, whether it's Gary with his newly-adopted cockney accent or Ivan Ivanov with his 100% dubbed voice. Even though villain Christoph Waltz would go on to win two Oscars for his work in Quentin Tarantino features, he kinda sucks in here.

The fact that the movie is competently-made with good production values almost plays against it at this point: I would have had a much better time with a questionably-produced disasterpiece than a movie that looks fine but is all the more boring because of it. Gary puts up a strong front throughout the picture, but I have a feeling that my desire for the movie to end mirrored his desire to just go on vacation at this point. It's easy to avoid this one, so keep on ignoring it.
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Very Entertaining Gary Daniels Actioner!
Comeuppance Reviews11 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Gary Daniels is Major Anthony Strong of the SAS - and he must deliver an important message to the British Ambassador in Kazakhstan, Sir Desmond Grey (Westhead), who will then deliver it to the President of Kazakhstan, Kasym (Georgi Gasov). This crucial suitcase handcuffed to his arm can only be trusted to the most elite of special ops, in other words, a "Queen's Messenger". Along the way he must fight off an unending stream of thugs and baddies. But the kicker is evil terrorist Ali Ben Samm (Waltz), who is described as a "Saddam in waiting" and leads the so-called "revolution of the faithful", also wants Strong dead. So he then unleashes his army of "Motorcycle Muslims" as they are called (and probably wouldn't be called today). Along for the ride is "ZNN" reporter Alexi Jones (Donovan) and her wacky cameraman Klaus (Ivanov) - the love interest and the comic relief, respectively. Can Captain Strong battle his way through wave after wave of baddies and accomplish his task? The first in a two-part series of Anthony Strong films (the other being Witness to a Kill, 2004), strangely Queen's Messenger was not released in the U.S., but Witness was. That's unfortunate for Daniels fans who aren't as intrepid as we are, because Queen's Messenger is quite competent, with well-staged stunts and fights. Daniels is charming, and he plays the epitome of cool as the motorcycle-riding, sunglasses-wearing Strong. The name "Captain Strong" is said many, many times throughout the film, and as a showcase for Daniels' talents, it's..well...strong.

Try to imagine some sort of cross between The Transporter (2002), Special Forces (2003), and The Peacekeeper (1997) - the latter especially comes to mind because he MUST deliver the suitcase at all costs! Both he and Major Frank Cross (Dolph's name in Peacekeeper, as if you didn't know...coincidentally also a Major) have unbelievable tenacity. While any normal person, after the FIRST bad guy trying to kill you, would have said "that's it, I'm outta here", Cross and Strong battle through an army to get the job done. They should really get employee of the month.

Christoph Waltz raises the level of his fairly one-dimensional bad guy, and he has the same problem Robert Miano has had in the past - try to play a Middle Eastern terrorist of you're not Middle Eastern. Interestingly, references are made to Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, showing that in the pre-Iraq War year of 2000, the world really thought he had them. That aside, there is a tank chase, which you don't see every day, and plenty of missile launchers in play. Plus it's different to see Gary Daniels romping around in the snow.

Listed as a Canada-UK-Bulgaria co-production, it does have that bleak Eastern European look to it which fans of any low-budget movies of the last ten years or so are familiar with. At least the movie is set in Kazakhstan (I'm not going to make any Borat jokes), and not "New York" or "Los Angeles".

Gary Daniels fans will find a lot to like with Queen's Messenger. It remains in question whether anyone else would get much out of it, but it's reasonably entertaining, if a bit by-the-numbers.

For more insanity, please visit: comeuppancereviews.com
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Even more disposable than I had expected
bernard-701426 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I've rarely seen a film in which baddies fail to shoot straight quite so much, though to be fair they sometimes fail by being too slow instead. While one can believe that a ragged Muslim militia would let off a lot of ammo for each bullet that hits, having them miss *all* the time seems to be the the easy way out of plot inconveniences.

*Spoiler follows (notionally, as there's nothing to spoil)* One really has to admire the approach to "tension" which has principal villain (driving a car) and principal hero (on the bonnet) pointing pistols at each other at (obviously) very, very short range, only for the latter to shoot first. *End of spoiler alert*. Christoph Walzer generally deserves better, but after this performance I think he'll have to clean the fragments of the scenery from his teeth himself.

The disc packaging in front of me describes Kazakhstan as an Eastern European country, inviting questions like "Is schooling available in your country?". Mind you, it also describes Captain Strong as a senior officer of the Queen's Messengers, into which he was injected (with his grudging consent) a few minutes before flying to Kazakhstan. OK, the writer of the blurb hadn't actually watched the film. Perhaps he thinks that an army captain is like a naval captain? Perhaps he doesn't actually think at all?

The "also starring..." list kicks off with Romina Mondello. She appears for about five minutes in total, bracketing the main action, and her entire part could be removed without leaving a gap. Presumably the producers found that they had a hot young Italian available for a day's shooting, and wrote a part for her. Can she act? Well, she's pointlessly angry in one miniature scene (actually written as a interruption to another scene, after which everybody forgets to lock the door again), and her two other appearances show her vamping sultrily at Captain Strong. She can do both! Weirdly, Strong seems to be at least slightly serious about the other love (sorry) sex-interest in Kazakhstan, with a teaser set up to have her still interested but not available at the of the film. Preceding and following this with scenes in which Strong seems to be coveting someone else's wife in a manner both gauche and casual has the effect of re-inventing Strong as a Bond-like misogynist hopping from one disposable woman to the next. I dare say none of this was actually thought through.

There are a lot of petrol explosions, all of them apparently CGI, and not terribly convincing. I may be more sensitive than some to this, but the main problem is that it's easier to detect CGI scenes the second and third time you see them, and all the damn explosions were so like each other that the effect was the same.

I wonder what the delivery system for those nukes was meant to be?
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