Directed by: Vittorio Rambaldi
Starring: Peter Weller, Robert Patrick, Charlotte Lewis, Darlene Vogel, Peter Breck, and Vladmir Kulich
Travis (Patrick), a former government op, is hired by his old commanding officer, Wellington (Breck) to protect his daughter, Diana (Vogel of Ring Of Steel fame) for a temporary amount of time because bad guys are after him and his family. Travis agrees to the job, but only if he can bring in his buddy Baxter (Weller) to help out. Even though Baxter is a nutty guy, Wellington reluctantly agrees. What then follows is Travis, Baxter and Diana moving from place to place in the woods, as Katya (Lewis), Daniel (Kulich) and other baddies try killing them using various means, but usually shooting. Most of the rest of the movie is this cat-and-mouse game, but there are a few twists every now and again to try to keep the viewers’ interest. Who is the real DECOY?
Sure, Decoy may have some bigger names, like Robert Patrick and Peter Weller, and it may be shot well using picturesque Canadian locations (shot in Regina and La Ronge, Saskatchewan), but don’t be fooled: this is just as dumb and run-of-the-mill as many other DTV productions out there. It was clearly trying to be more upper crust and be almost theater-quality, but ultimately doesn’t get there and is a disappointment.
There are some cool killings, and the baddies have these futuristic wrist rockets that they use on their enemies, but that’s really the only noteworthy invention here. And that doesn’t a good movie make. There are some utterly stupid, time-wasting “romantic” elements between Baxter and Diana for a while, which don’t need to be there. Diana is the cliched “complaining woman dragged along into an adventure” we’ve seen so many times before. On the other end of the female spectrum is Charlotte Lewis, looking amazing with her outfits and high-powered weaponry. It’s quite a change from her role in Men of War (1994). Robert Patrick puts in a personable enough performance, but it’s hard not to compare this to the awesome Zero Tolerance (1994), which is Patrick at his absolute best. Weller puts in a “quirky” performance, with his pseudo-philosophical dialogue, and he’s always good, but Decoy as a whole is mediocre, with tons of “pew-pew” gunfighting scenes that don’t really add much.
Also on board as one of the baddies is Vladimir Kulich, who has played the “Eurotrash Bad Guy” in such movies as Crackerjack (1994), Red Scorpion 2 (1995), and Breach Of Trust (1995). We’re definitely getting used to seeing him. There’s also the prerequisite torture scene, but this time the movie opens with it and gets it out of the way. But the problem with Decoy is every time it starts to get good, it pulls back. It’s almost like the movie has a fear of success.
Decoy is ultimately wasteful with what resources it has, and it never rises above your standard action premise.
Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty