Home Year 2013 The Package (2013) review

The Package (2013) review

Stone Cold Steve Austin takes on Dolph Lundgren. What's not to like?

"You think I'm going to let somebody who dresses like that shoot me?"
“You think I’m going to let somebody who dresses like that shoot me?”

Anyone not excited at the thought of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Dolph Lundgren facing off in an action film needs their head examined. What’s not to like about that idea?

Well, the script first and foremost. This is your standard direct to DVD fare, where Austin’s delivery man (well, that’s what he is) Tommy Wick has to deliver a package to Lundgren’s “The German”. Yes, it’s about as subtle as a brick to the face. Which, as it happens, is something that wouldn’t be out of place in this story. Watch and gasp as people get attacked and beaten up left, right and centre. Tommy is beset on all sides by various groups trying to get their hands on said package. And by package, I’m not referring to… you know.

And that’s it for story, albeit with a couple of emotional layers added for colour. It’s a shame that these aren’t developed further, but then this has clearly been produced to put the emphasis on Wick and The German alone. The secondary characters barely get a look in This is no bad thing, although some additional emphasis on the character’s motivations wouldn’t have hurt. Not much anyway.

Austin is solid as Wick, and thankfully not burdened with the standard action hero’s first name of “John”. Much like Jason Statham you know what you’re going to get from him when you see his name in the credits. That could seem like a discredit to Austin’s abilities, but nothing could be further from the truth. I’m quite the fan of his film roles, even if the material he’s given isn’t necessarily the best. Still, bills need to be paid and all that. Let’s be honest, you don’t usually want too much from your action hero, just enough of a personal life to see things through, give him something to fight for, or against, and that’ll do the trick.

Dolph Lundgren, fighting in his pyjamas. Class.
Dolph Lundgren, fighting in his pyjamas. Class.

More fun is Dolph Lundgren, who lately is more and more in on the joke and increasingly a delight to watch. He plays The German almost, but not quite, up to 11. It’s a silly performance only reigned in by the fact he knows just how ridiculous he’s being. This we could do with seeing more of, although perhaps not too often. We have to think of the children, after all.

The script does its best to subvert your expectations and throws in an obligatory twist or two just for the sake of doing something a little different, but other than the casting, it’s a generic action flick with uninspired and surprisingly tedious action beats. Bearing in mind these sections are the whole purpose of the film, you’d think they’d put a little more effort into making the fights something special. Except, they’re not.

If you’re entertained by short, sharp bursts of action and either Stone Cold or Dolph Lundgren rocking the screen, then this will be right up your street. If not, then I’d either question why you’d be interested in watching a direct to DVD film in the first place, or possibly just poke you with a stick.

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