Body Armour (DVD Review)18 May, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Prebook 5/19/09; Street 6/16/09
Rated ‘R’ for language and some violence.
Stars Chazz Palminteri, Til Schweiger.
The archetypal action thriller should include liberal uses of gunfire, explosions, car chases, beautiful women, nudity, panoramic aerials, international intrigue, unrepentant villains and a reluctant hero or two, among other clichés.
Direct-to-video release Body Armour does include the aforementioned prerequisites, if you don’t look too closely and want to believe.
German actor Til Schweiger (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider) plays dishonored bodyguard John Ridley, hired to protect international assassin Lee Maxwell (Chazz Palminteri, who appears ready to ad-lib or laugh at any moment) for 72 hours.
The catch: Maxwell killed a former client (and U.S. presidential candidate), thereby destroying Ridley’s career and tormenting his life. Forced to put his personal feelings (and female interests) on hold, Ridley must use all his skill and years of experience to bring Maxwell — in protective custody in a Barcelona hotel — back to New York alive to testify against a crooked mobster.
Maxwell revels in the situation, displaying a sense of situational wit entirely lost on humorless Ridley — despite a multitude of scenes filled with stilted dialogue, dumb goons, dumber FBI agents, and poorly choreographed fights (bad guys appear to wait in line to be punched, kicked or killed).
An online review from Argentina (in broken English) best underscores the film’s common weakness: “Shooting these action films takes some practicing and learning too.”
For viewers who liked Bangkok Dangerous or the “Transporter” and “Punisher” movies, or who appreciate a hero who sounds like the governor of California, Body Armour, from the producers of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, will fit the bill.