Starring: Cung Le, Dolph Lundgren, Vinnie Jones, Briana Evigan, Gianni Capaldi
Director: Giorgio Serafini
2014 | 96 Minutes | Rated R
“Little did I know that life made no sense whatsoever… and I was about to learn it the hard way.” – John Nguyen
Any fan of DTV action was surely excited when they heard word of Puncture Wounds impending arrival. Dolph Lundgren, Cung Le AND Vinnie Jones in one movie? Are you kidding me? That’s all I needed to hear. There’s a chance that the promise of these three working with each other set my expectations too high but I was let down in a pretty big way.
After a traumatic tour of duty in Iraq, John Nguyen (Cung Le) finds himself suffering from PTSD and estranged from his family. After saving a young call girl, John is embroiled in conflict with Hollis (Dolph Lundgren), a local crime lord, leading to the murder of John’s parents and sister. John is left with one option… revenge.
Cung Le has a really interesting and unique style of fighting. And I’m not just talking about his on screen fight style. Even when he is fighting in a cage he is doing things that few other men are capable of doing. He is able to showcase a few of those unique abilities but not as much as I’d personally like to see out of him. On top of that, the filming of his fight scenes doesn’t showcase what skills he does show, instead wasting them away with quick cuts and poorly framed shots.
Cung Le’s acting is a little over dramatic. An ex-soldier suffering from PTSD should certainly have a dramatic story but this feels like he is trying to hard and not achieving the righ feel. This really probably shouldn’t have been him playing this role, he just doesn’t have the acting chops yet to pull it off. Cung Le does have personality, he just needs a different character to pull it out of him. Probably something a little more fun until his acting develops a little further.
I just absolutely love that Dolph Lundgren is taking on these crazy roles now that he is getting a bit older. He’s still in incredible shape but he can’t be the tank that he once was. These interesting, crazy characters seem to be a great way of extending his action movie career out for hopefully a long, long time. It’s really no shock that his Hollis is the best character of the movie.
Gianni Capaldi plays a bit of an interesting character as well. He’s essentially one of Dolph’s longtime goons but seems to be having second thoughts about whether he really wants this life. Unfortunately the story isn’t given enough time to develop to where we feel like we know and like this character enough
The music in Puncture Wounds is this horrible mix of schlocky rock tracks. It sounds like the sound guys just hit play on Stock Jams Vol. 8.
Unfortunately Puncture Wounds didn’t live up to expectations. There’s a LOT of potential here from just about everyone involved but none of it is fully realized. The biggest lot of responsibility needs to fall on Giorgio Serafini, the director. He seems like he needs to learn to temper himself a bit. I haven’t seen Blood of Redemption (his other Dolph, Vinnie and Gianni outing) yet but he seems to cram too much into his movies, never giving each story or character enough screen time to have it make sense. If he can get this figured out, he has the style to make some really cool and entertaining flicks. If not, we will likely see more movies that don’t quite live up to their potential.