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In Los Angeles a deadly plague called the 'Pandora' virus is stolen from a high-security installation, and the F.B.I. calls in Agent Alec 'Mac' Mckay to follow up the leads. A trained virologist, he discovers the culprit is one of the world's top researchers. He discovers the man has a safety box in a bank vault and a trap is laid to capture both the doctor and reclaim the virus. Meanwhile, Julie Hayes discovers her do-well brother Scotty has become involved in the plan to rob a bank... The very bank that the F.B.I. is now watching in their bid to reclaim the Pandora virus. An unwilling accomplice, Julie tries to alert the bank staff, unaware that the man she thinks is a bank teller is in fact Mac working undercover. Things go from bad to worse when the errant doctor, looking tense and terrified, arrives with a tall, blond-haired, leather-clad man whom the watching agents identify as St. Joy, the leader of the L.R.A., a well-known doomsday cult. St. Joy wants Pandora. He wants Pandora...Written by
Shakedown is B-movieland personified. Lots of shoot-em-up silliness, shouting, yelling, the occasional burst of humour, and a nonsensical script. Oh, and a number of filler shots in the way of stock footage and grotty CGI work. But never mind.
The cast try very hard to make up for it, with a personable leading man in Wolf Larsen, who turns out to have a nice line in wry humour. It's a real shame he doesn't make better films than this. Erika Eleniak looks pretty, makes an attempt at acting and portrays the tough-nut heroine quite well. But the real star of this one is Ron Perlman as the deadly intense religious nut St Joy, all blonde hair and black leather, in a role that could so easily have been ruined by over-acting. But not in the hands of the tremendously talented Perlman. St Joy is genuinely creepy, and - oddly enough - at times, even sympathetic. Then he turns the whole 'sympathy' thing on its head with his unerring brutality.
If you like mindless violence, a convoluted, badly thought-out plot and loads of mayhem, then you'll like this one. Great for an evening in with a pizza, but not much else.
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