Steve Austin burst onto the WWE scene right around the time I started to outgrow professional wrestling. He had nothing to do with that, as I always thought his ďStone ColdĒ demeanor combined with his take-no-shit attitude made him pretty bad ass. But Jesus H. Christ, only now that Iíve seen him ďperformĒ in The Stranger do I truly understand the source of his ďStone ColdĒ moniker; the man has the emotive range and acting ability of a frozen rock. Iíve been known to take a crack or two at Steven Seagalís acting in my day, but Austin makes him look like De Niro. I know- I canít believe it either! The long under-appreciated Adam Beach (Flags of Our Fathers, HBO's "Big Love") is the only thespian of note in this film, and itís a sad site to see him here, as the man is good-looking, charismatic, and capable of so much more. He deserves better.
But lets get back to Austin and more importantly, the action. That is why we watch these things, isnít it? Well, perhaps as a result of 15+ years spent in the ring, or due to the tiny production budget, or maybe just because Austin decided to launch his film career at the ripe old age of 46, his fighting skills in this film are shockingly limited. A small handful of burly punches and a few waist-high kicks are pretty much all we get out of the big man. I woulda settled for a few piledrivers or even a suplex, but whoever stunt coordinated this thing had the imagination of a baboon, and clearly forgot about Austin's wrestling roots. I've literally seen more engaging action in student films.
As far as story, itís pretty typical of straight-to-DVD fare. Pretends to be more clever than it is by way of pointless, repetitive flashbacks (edited with seizure-inducing quick cuts to disguise the fact), along with needless plot twists that donít rely on logic or any common sense, and of course, a couple Russian baddies thrown in for good measure. Iíve spent far too long talking about this film.
I expected a bit more from the director of Fire in the Sky.
Also comes with the filmís trailer, which does an adequate job of preparing us for how crappy this film is. Oh and the trailer ends with the laugh-out-loud last shot in the film. Awesome.