Action Movie Fanatix Review: Mercenaries

Action Movie Fanatix review banner for Mercenaries

They’re The Best Man For The Job

Starring: Cynthia Rothrock, Zoe Bell, Kristanna Loken, Vivica A. Fox, Brigitte Nielsen, Nicole Bilderback

Director: Christopher Ray

2014  |  89 Minutes  |  Unrated

“Look at you.  This is what you were built for.” – Mona

When the president’s daughter is kidnapped in a war-torn country, her only hope is a group of female commandos gathered from the nation’s top security prisons.

After the success of The Expendables, a number of studios announced intentions to produce movies based on a female equivalent mercenary team.  Asylum’s Mercenaries is still the only one to have actually see the light of day.  Hopefully the others get released at some point but for now this is all we have.

Knowing that this is an Asylum release, you probably have some idea of what to expect.  Bad acting, story, dialogue, CGI, etc., etc., etc.  Those things are all pretty much true but Mercenaries still manages to be a fairly entertaining time.

Zoe Bell is the standout in what proves to be a pretty fun cast.  She is cast as the leader of the group.  Kristanna Loken is the slightly more subdued sniper.  Nicole Bilderback is the firecracker of a demolitions expert.  And Vivica A. Fox is the wild card in a group full of wild cards as a former CIA agent who went rogue.

Cynthia Rothrock is criminally underused.  She is basically the female version of Bruce Willis’ Church character in the first Expendables movie.  She delivers the mission and then disappears until the end.  It sounds like someone else was originally lined up for her role but dropped out at the last second and Asylum was able to bring her in the day before production started so I suppose we can’t blame Asylum too much for not having a better role for her.  I know I’m not alone in thinking they missed out on having her deliver at least one scorpion kick.

Brigitte Nielsen is a ton of fun as the man-hating leader of the bad guys.  Again, not great acting or dialogue but she genuinely seems to be having some fun with the role.

As you’d expect, there is a good amount of action in the movie.  It isn’t SUPER great or memorable but I was surprised it wasn’t worse.  The CGI is often pretty poor but, again, I was surprised Asylum didn’t do worse.  I understand Asylum not having a huge budget for special effects.  What I can’t understand is why they don’t get more creative with their action scenes.  Creativity doesn’t HAVE to cost money.  Just get a director/writer/choreographer who has some vision.  I’d be willing to bet there are some fledgling movie martial artists who would love to work for peanuts choreographing a movie like this.  Heck, I’d be willing to bet Cynthia Rothrock or Zoe Bell could have put forth a solid effort in this department.

Just because I was surprised it wasn’t worse, doesn’t mean that Mercenaries is something I can wholesale recommend.  DTV action fans might get some enjoyment out of it but the average movie going public is going to reject it as nothing more than a bad action movie… and they wouldn’t be all together wrong.

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