Action Movie Fanatix Review: Ambushed

Ambushed banner

No Witnesses.
No Rules.

Starring: Dolph Lundgren, Vinnie Jones, Randy Couture, Daniel Bonjour, Carly Pope, Gianni Capaldi, Lester Speight, Mel Rodriguez

Director: Giorgio Serafini

2013  |  96 Minutes  |  Rated R

“If you can hold your breakfast down I’ll buy you a burger later… rare.” – Maxwell

Like any action fan I picked up Ambushed to see Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture and Vinnie Jones working together for the first time.  That’s exactly what I got but what I didn’t expect was that not one of the three of them is actually the star of the movie.  Gianni Capaldi and Daniel Bonjour are the stars of Ambushed, in that they have the most screen time and are actually surprisingly entertaining to watch.

Veteran DEA Agent Maxwell (Dolph Lundgren) is closing in on an international cocaine-smuggling ring run by Vincent Camastra (Vinnie Jones) but the case becomes personal when fellow agent Beverly Royce (Carly Pope) goes undercover with drug dealers Frank (Daniel Bonjour) and Eddie (Gianni Capaldi) and finds herself in over her head.

First off, despite the roster, Ambushed really isn’t an action movie.  It’s more of a police/crime thriller.  There’s actually two different plotlines to follow.  The main one is about two small time drug dealers trying to make it big.  The second doesn’t get enough screen time but it had potential of being quite interesting – involving the corrupt cop and the DEA agent looking to take him down.

Frank is the guy that’s easy to relate to.  He’s a relatively normal guy.  Through co-owning his club with Eddie he ends up getting wrapped up in the cocaine business.  So, despite watching him kill a couple guys to steal their money and drugs, we end up sort of cheering for the guy, hoping that one day he can live his life with his innocent girlfriend.

Eddie is the crazy Scot who probably should have been killed eons ago.  He’s exactly what you’d expect from a European drug dealer.  He’s likely to piss off just about every single person he meets.

Dolph Lundgren is the DEA agent.  He’s a badass in the way that every cop is a badass but not in the way that most Dolph Lundgren characters are.

Randy Couture is a dirty cop, which is a part that really fits him.  This might just be his best part and his best performance to date.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of Ambushed.  It had a good number of characters and actors that I could get behind… even if they were mostly dirty.  But then the movie took a bad turn and never really recovered.

It drags pretty bad in the middle of the movie.  It also loses its humor during this midsection.  The end makes up for the middle a bit but even the Dolph Lundgren / Randy Couture showdown doesn’t live up to its potential.

Essentially Ambushed feels like two good movies crammed together to make one mediocre one.  There’s definitely some good ideas and performances here – from just about everyone involved – but it’s never fully realized.

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