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Katarina Leigh Waters
Ex-Navy Seal Bobby Kalinowski lives a quiet, peaceful life as a landscape architect in an LA suburb with his wife Dawn and 16 year old daughter Brianna. Tonight they are invited out for an evening on the town by new neighbors clay and Elise Freeman to a happening club downtown. Little did they know that this would be the start of a life or death ordeal for the group. While at the club, Dawn is accosted by one of the club owners, Ethan Bordas. When Bobby intervenes and accidentally kills Ethan defending his wife, his enraged older brother, Seth, puts a one hundred thousand dollar bounty on his head. Now Bobby must escape LA while being pursued by every criminal, wise guy and thug in the city. Bobby decides to separate from his wife and neighbors and revert to his Navy Seal training to survive. To complicate matters, Seth has a corrupt police sergeant preventing Bobby from getting any help from the law! However, they all underestimate the fighting skills and abilities of Bobby ... Written by
Lionsgate is known for many things: Releasing controversial movies ("Irreversible", "O", "American Psycho"), prestige pictures that get award attention ("Precious", "Crash", "Away From Her") and of course Horror movies (too many to count-though that genre has unfortunately taken something of a back seat as far as theatrical releases are concerned.) But the one thing people tend to forget to associate Lionsgate with is Straight to DVD movies. For who knows how long, Lionsgate has been giving the world the best (well, usually worst or most mediocre) in straight to DVD Horror, Action and general Exploitation. David (the absolutely abysmal "Last House on the Left" rip off "Chaos") Defalco now gets into this market with "Wrong Side of Town", a really bad but at least laughable blend of Wrestlesploitation (B-Movie with a Professional Wrestler(s)) and Rapsploitation (B-Movie with a Rapper(s).)
Bobby Kalinowsky (Rob Van Dam) is living a peaceful life with his wife and daughter, when they are invited to a night club run by a corrupt crime lord named Seth (Jerry Katz.) When his wife is nearly raped by Seth's coked up younger brother, Bobby comes in to save to day-and inadvertently kills the guy. None to pleased by this turn of events, Seth puts a bounty on Bobby's head, and hires local gangs (which include R&B singer Omarian, rapper Ja Rule and wrestler Viscera) to hunt him down. Thing is, Bobby is an ex-navy seal, and knows how to fight back. He knows he can't go at it alone though, so he turns to his old buddy Big Ronnie (Dave Bautista) for help.
First thing's first: "Wrong Side of Town" is not anywhere near as bad as DeFalco's prior movie "Chaos", as it's nowhere near as downbeat or ugly as that film. It's still an inept exercise though, with atrocious acting (more on that in the next paragraph), poorly choreographed action scenes, poor direction, heavily advertised actors not getting particularly huge roles (Ja Rule is barely in it, and probably wondering what the hell happened to his career in that he has ended up having a small role in a terrible Straight to DVD movie from the director of "Chaos", and Bautista, despite getting top billing, is barely in the thing), bad editing, and so much more. Sure, you can throw in all the nudity (including a cameo from porn star Stormy Daniels) and action you can, but that doesn't make the movie good.
And back to the acting. Oh boy, it is atrocious. Nobody in this movie can act worth a damn-especially star Rob Van Dam, who acts stiff and boring to the point that you wonder if he's an inanimate object and not a living being. In fact, the terrible acting ends up becoming the sole saving grace of this movie, as it becomes hilarious. My stomach actually hurt from laughing so hard, especially when we first meet the character of Big Ronnie. It's almost worth cherishing in that respect.
Apart from it's casting, there is no real distinguishing "Wrong Side of Town" from any other bad Straight to DVD action movie from Lionsgate. Everything from the cheap "James Bond" inspired opening credits to everything else on display is low rent to the point of inanity. That out of the way, if sh!%%y Straight to DVD action movies are your thing, and if you want a good laugh out of cinematic ineptitude, then by all means watch this.
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