Hauer, Mark Dacascos, Yvonne Scio, Patrick Dreikauss, Randall William Cook, Michael
Mehlmann, Ildikó Szücs, István Kanizsay, Gabor Peter Vincze
1997, 113 Minutes, Directed by: Tibor Takács
In the future, death is only the beginning. In the tradition of such
science fiction classics as "Blade Runner" and "Escape From New York" comes
a terrifying vision of a future unlike any seen before. When John Wade (Rutger
Hauer) tries to smuggle fantasy chips for the city's cyberjunkies, he is
betrayed by his partner, Merrick (Mark Dacascos), and killed. Authorities
resurrect him with bio-synthetic cyber-implants to interrogate him regarding
the Troika, a crime syndicate that counts Merrick as a member. Once alive,
Wade escapes and begins an intensive search for Merrick in the underworld of
the future--seedy cyber-slums and sex dens--to exact revenge on the traitor
in a blaze of gunfire. After dodging assassins and scavenger bounty hunters,
Wade realizes that in this world, he can trust no one.
You know you're watching a straight-to-video cheapie when you have Rutger (who'll never
again star in the likes of Blade Runner and Ladyhawke
it seems) Hauer in a long black coat fighting a completely nude (!) woman kickboxer.
Redline doesn't shy away from some gratuitous violence and T&A. Early on in the
movie the chief baddie, after beating the crap out of someone he's trying to intimidate,
slices off the poor guy's fingers with a samurai sword and stuffs it into his mouth. Later
on, every attempt is made to populate the movie with sexy young women in
revealing/sluttish clothing and/or in various states of undress. If you hold on a bit
longer you'll see Hauer (in said black coat) having a bit of two-on-one action with two
nubile starlets in a virtual reality shower scene.
If this sounds like your kind of B-movie, don't be fooled. Redline (which may be
gathering dust on your local video shelf depending on where you're actually reading this
under the title of either Armageddon (!) or Deathline) isn't much fun.
story plods along not making much sense, the dialogue is wooden and the acting even more
so. It is a dull affair - and not much in the MSTK3000 way that
similar trashy movies like Barb Wire or Hauer's earlier Split Second were. There just doesn't seem to be any spark of life
in the whole affair and the action scenes falls firmly in the uninspiring Nemesis mould. Not even lots of beer and pizza can save this one .
It needn't have been this way. The director managed to find some very interesting and
atmospheric locations to film Redline (although it is set in a post-economic
collapse Russia, it was apparently filmed in Hungary) and the photography is pretty good. Also, a fleeting scene in which Eisenstein's famous Battleship Potempkin Odessa
steps sequence is parodied is pretty clever. But it all falls apart under the bog standard
and dull screenplay about a small-time crook (Hauer) seeking revenge against his former
partner who double crossed him.
Not even a few cool Strange Days-like
cyberpunk gizmos can save Redline from becoming the type of movie you wouldn't even
want to watch for free on the telly late one night . . .