Directed by: Marc S. Grenier
Starring: Dolph Lundgren and Maxim Roy
Dolph plays ex-FBI
agent Jason Price, a man who runs some kind of witness protection
program. When a ruthless assassin called “The Cleaner” is bumping off
supposedly protected people, Price must slowly unravel a complex series
of lies, deceits, betrayals and double-crossings.
with this film is - it’s mid-period Dolph and got lost in the video
store shuffle. It’s in some kind of nether world between his classic
80’s and even 90’s outings and his current renaissance. It’s hard to
imagine someone in ‘01, while perusing their local video store, not just
giving the cover a cursory glance and then moving on. But we can see
why Dolph took the role. It’s different. He probably yearns to play
reasonably non-meathead-y roles like this. In Hidden Agenda, he’s smart,
he’s good with computers, and
in his cover as a suave restauranteur, we see his classy side. We
applaud this change of pace, but that’s not enough to make the movie
Despite the film’s strengths, when the film
begins, the audience is treated to a jumble of names and situations, as
if the filmmakers assume we already know what’s going on. So after some
more muddled plot developments and frustrating computer gobbledygook,
the movie is halfway over and we’re not hooked in and involved with the
plot. Even Dolph seems bored a lot of the time. Add to that some
confusing and characterless “intrigue” and the end product is what best
can be described as an arrested development in the Dolph canon. Yes,
there are some nice changes of pace, but at what cost?
are some annoying editing tricks and techno music during the scant
fight scenes. The problem is, this film doesn’t EARN the tricks. It
seems like a cover-up for a lack of
something. And therein lies the crux of the matter: The filmmakers
should have cut a lot of the fat and talkiness and stripped down the
film to a race-against-time battle between Price and The Cleaner.
Assuming it was done correctly, this would have given the film the
turbocharge it needed to be successful. Sadly, instead, with the
technology on display (Icarus and Daedalus?) it’s like watching a
dramatization of an episode of “90’s Tech” on the History Channel.
see what the filmmakers were trying to do...had this film come out in
the theater it would have starred Matt Damon (doubtlessly wearing
glasses) and been a slick Hollywood
thriller like Paycheck (2003) or Hackers (1995). So imagine that formula applied to a
Canada-shot DTV product with Dolph Lundgren and there you have it.
In the case of Hidden Agenda, different does not necessarily mean better for Dolph fans.
Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty