Army of One Poster

Army of One (1993)

Action | Crime  | Mystery
IMDB Rayting:   5.7/10
Country: USA
Language: English

A framed prison escapee unknowingly kidnaps a female cop en route to a rendezvous with the corrupt cop who put him behind bars.

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tp320 8 December 1999

"Army of One" is an actioner obviously made by people who truly love the genre. It was directed and produced by Vic Armstrong, stunt co-ordinator and second unit director on films like Total Recall, Starship Troopers and the two latest Bond-films (Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough). This man is responsible for some of the best action sequences ever made so he obviously knows what he's doing.

The film was written by Steven Pressfield. He co-wrote Steven Seagal's first film, Above the Law, as well as Freejack. Based on this film, he might just be the perfect writer for tough action films. He successfully takes a basic concept (a man convicted of a murder he didn't commit sets out to find the true killers and get his revenge) and elevates it above similar films with his characters, scenes and dialogue. He takes the film and it's subject matter with just the right dose of self-irony but never lets it become a parody. The dialogue flows nicely and occasionally there are some truly classic lines (for example, Alfonso: "You're not a very nice person. You've hurt several people." Lundgren: "I never said I was running for pope").

This is quite a bit smarter than your average actioner. As I said, the plot is formulaic (and fans like myself want an action film to have a formulaic plot), but the characters and dialogue are interesting. Dolph Lundgren has the right stuff for an action hero. He's got the looks and the voice and he knows his way around action scenes. But it's George Segal and Beau Starr as the nagging duo, who really steal the show.

Of course, there's the beautiful woman (Kristian Alfonso) as Lundgren's sidekick but they don't portray her as a helpless victim. Instead, she's a cop and more than able to take care of herself. Luckily, she does still wear tight jeans (Lundgren even notices this and teases her about it!) and there's the obligatory love scene. The scene where Lundgren and Alfonso check in a hotel is a classic! Alfonso immediately takes a shower and even asks if she has enough time to wash her panties(!). Alfonso uses a body double who turns around and around for the camera to the extent that the scene is almost comical. This scene is so gratuitous that it's hard not to like it. Because the film shows so much class in other scenes, it becomes clear that this scene isn't just here to fill time and show T&A. It's here because an action movie like this _always_ has gratuitous nudity. It's one of the trademarks of this masculine genre and if you love the genre, you will include a scene like this.

All this is nice and well but what really counts is the action. And the action here is absolutely breathtaking! The action-scenes are choreographed so beautifully that I'm still impressed while watching them although I've seen the film for over 30 times. First, there's a major shoot-out during which Lundgren kills probably over 30 guys using his fists, a shotgun and two handguns (this ain't John Woo and it doesn't really try to be but the fans of his style will probably still like this). When he runs out of bullets, he just picks up another gun from the floor. Once again, this scene is _not_ a parody but it _is_ so over-the-top that it obviously isn't meant to be taken too seriously. Anyway, there are some great stunts here and Armstrong has directed the scene flawlessly. All this amounts to one of the coolest shoot-outs in recent history and one which has sinc

actionmoviestar 24 August 2004

This undoubtedly, is the best Dolph Lundgren film I've ever seen. You'll have to take into consideration that I'm not a big fan of Mr. Lundgren. This movie had great action scenes. You can tell that John Woo had a strong influence on the producers and directors because one special shootout looked very reminiscent of John Woo's type of filmmaking. This movie also has to feature, I think, one of the best car chases in a straight to home video film ever. It's sad that movies like these don't get highly promoted or promoted at all, therefore they become lost in the film world, where nobody discovers them for the true action movies that they really are. Watch this movie, you will not be dissapointed.

Metal-9 18 May 2000

This movie surprised me. You don't expect much when you starts watching movie with Dolph Lundgren. But this turn out to be a great action-flick. The thing that is worst (as always in this kind of productions) is the acting. Dolph is bad, he just sits there with his stone-face and looks concentrated. Kristian Alfonson looks good but she can't act so well.

But the moments of action in the movie is good. The shooting is pretty much belieavble, except the shooting of chineses at the end. The car chase is a great piece of work but what can you expect when the director has made action-scenes in Tomorrow Never Dies, Starship Troopers and Total Recall.

See it and enjoy it.

mish17 22 September 2010

What do you get if you cross Dolph Lundgren with a red shirt and a red car? A pretty good movie.

What's the main problem with this movie? It's not available on DVD/Blu Ray.

Why? Your guess is as good as mine. A movie that I've only heard about through a friend, repeated rants about why it should be on DVD and how it's such a good film, I must admit, I had my doubts. But with everything being on DVD these days, it's shocking and a sin, that this isn't. When literally everything these days is available – whether it be dead cheap, or hideously expensive – from your TV movies adapted from books, to your endless TV shows, the question should be, where is Joshua Tree's release? Is it because it comes from the same name as a U2 song? (Hence the name change to Army Of One in places, which makes very little sense.) The rights to this movie are probably floating around somewhere, just waiting for someone to snap them out, and give this film the true release it deserves.

From the opening shots, it starts as an almost peaceful movie. It's mainly set in a baking hot desert, and it stars the very wonderful, genuine-straight-up-tough-guy Dolph Lundgren, as Santee. When he's not speaking, Dolph just steals the film, even just by standing there. He's just driving along, when suddenly, something happens, and he's arrested for the murder of a patrolman. But he didn't do it, and is being set up. He escapes, and grabs a hostage, supposedly for her car, but I suppose she has other attributes that Santee plans to make use of. Kristian Alfonso makes a stereotypical female hostage role her own, by not only giving as good as she gets, but actually providing a lot of chemistry with Dolph. The scene where they are handcuffed together and lying in bed, was so sizzling, that I would have needed a cold shower afterwards.

The only grumble I have with Joshua Tree (and it's a tiny one I promise, and you probably won't notice it) is the storyline. Is that the best storyline in the world ever? No. Is it the worst storyline in the world ever? No. But it's nothing that we haven't all seen before. But I do think the film would have been a lot worse, if it hadn't had the delight of Dolph's on-screen presence. I mean, this guy has faced up to his old nemesis in The Expendables recently, and there's another reason why this film should be released.

The action in Joshua Tree is simply incredible. There's one particular scene where Dolph kills all these Chinese guys, who seem to be never ending, and seem to double in numbers every time two of them get killed. And boy, do they get killed! (The actors also make great use of their very short screen time by overacting their death scenes – it does have to been seen.) There are quite a few well known faces in this, from George Segal to Matt Battaglia (has appeared in every TV show going it seems from Baywatch, to Sabrina The Teenage Witch, to Friends – Phoebe's boyfriend Vince in TOW Ross's Thing – if you don't recognise the face, you'll recognise the voice.) But the only ones you really pay attention to are Dolph & Kristian.

Now, if someone can just cough up the money (literally) for this film to be re-released at the cinemas, and then have a major blu ray/DVD release, with plenty of extras, it would make my friend and me, very happy. And it would get a whole lot of other fans. So … cough up!!!

Leofwine_draca 21 July 2015

A predictable but exciting action vehicle for Lundgren, which plays more like a road movie than anything else. Although we've seen it all before, ARMY OF ONE offers up plenty of action from car chases in the desert (always a good thing) to a huge, John Woo-inspired shootout in a warehouse plus the expected fist-fights and more. All combine to make a satisfying, easy-viewing movie experience.

Lundgren here has one of his better roles and is actually required to act in some scenes, as well as being his usual hardman self. He's given good support by George Segal as the dastardly villain, Kristian Alfonso as a tough hostage he takes who also turns out to be a cop, Geoffrey Lewis as good-natured Sheriff, and the familiar Michael Paul Chan as a slimy, Chinese fellow villain. Horror fans may want to look out for DAWN OF THE DEAD's Ken Foree who is killed in the first scene but reappears throughout the movie.

Although things do take a while to get going, and it takes time to get to know (and like) the main characters, ARMY OF ONE has some excellent action towards the end. The aforementioned warehouse shootout is very violent and well-staged, and most impressive. The "speeding cars through the desert" scene is sufficiently exciting, and the expected showdown between Lundgren and the chief baddie at the end holds the attention. In all, a good time-waster, and one of Lundgren's better movies.

jcholguin 29 July 2001

Dolph Lundgren as Santee does not do much talking but makes up for it with action. Santee is a convicted cop killer who was framed by Det. Severence played by George Segal. Santee manages to escape during transport and kidnaps Rita Marrick who unknown to Santee is an off-duty cop herself. Now the action begins as Santee sets out to get revenge against Severence while at the same time is being hunted by Severence and the whole states police force. Who will get Santee first, Severence & company or Marrick the off-duty cop.

ingridon89 1 July 2008

First of all, I would like to mention that Dolph Lundgren is my favorite action star and maybe I give too much sympathy to him and his work but it is only my own opinion and it is always nice to hear another ones too.

So 'Joshua Tree' or 'The Army Of One' is not only a cool action movie,full of shots, fighting and car races but also a dramatic story, representing a 'man with an autumn inside his heart'.Can't remember how many times I have watched it but it seems I can guess a bit of original story.Santee was a teenager when he was arrested my fake and corrupted cop-Severance.Instead of being put at prison he was forced to work with them and transport expensive cars for Chinese mafia.All went well till the day Severance decided not to share money with anyone else and get off the driver.

Santee was not a bastard or outlaw.Maybe just illegal driver but not a killer as all the people thought of him.Best friend was killed.He-in deadly danger.Moroever, suffering from a serious wound.All he needed was a car.I agree, at first he was a bit rude with Rita but the girl understood him and did absolutely right.If you live with cruel and shitty people you start feel yourself the same.With a lovely person besides him Santee became a weak, hurt and totally destroyed man.Someone, whose life was broken.

I advice everyone to see this movie and to think a bit deeper.Not only enjoy the action but also try to understand the main character. Thanks all the actors and director-Vic Armstrong. It was really a pleasure.

Stevie G 27 February 2001

Low budget, c list actors, expanses of wide open scenery but for all that a really good film. There are some parallels with Vanishing Point but generally stands out on its own. Dolf does a reasonable job but the character just isn't believable. Just a note all the cars used are replicas, but then what a crime it would be if they were real. Just ordered it on DVD from the US hope it is better than the UK video release was as the quality of that was the worst I had ever come across. Looking for something to kill a couple of hours and enjoy car chases then add this to the list of classics : Bullit, The Hidden, Ronin, Taxi, Gone In 60 Seconds, The Rock, Vanishing Point.

sixsixsix 21 July 2000

I really enjoyed viewing the unrated US Laserdisc of ARMY OF ONE. Dolph isn´t as cool as in THE PUNISHER but he´s doing quite a good job when it comes to those great shoot-outs. They sometimes reminded me on those John Woo-flicks.if you have the chance watch the unrated version, gives you more detail and is much more exciting.

Hey_Sweden 26 August 2013

From a technical standpoint, this film doesn't disappoint. It marks the theatrical first unit directorial debut for Vic Armstrong, a longtime veteran of stunt work and second unit direction. This is one man who knows how to deliver action on a grand scale, and he does so here. He makes sure that this always energetic thriller never stops moving. The story isn't anything special, and there is some bad dialogue, but at the same time there are some good lines such as the one mentioned in this review summary. "Joshua Tree" isn't quite wall to wall action, at least not to begin with, but it definitely kicks into another gear in its second half, starting with an homage to John Woo, an over the top massacre of bad guys by our stoic hero Wellman Santee (Dolph Lundgren).

Santee ain't no angel, which is refreshing. He's been a runner of exotic cars, but things go very wrong when a highway cop pulls over him and his partner Eddie (a much too briefly seen Ken Foree). Soon he's in jail, framed for murder, but gets his chance to escape. Knowing he was set up, he embarks on a mission to find the man who he knows was responsible - and get paid. Exhibiting some ruthlessness, he's willing to take a hostage, Rita Marek (Kristian Alfonso). It turns out that he's actually abducted a sheriffs' deputy who's a pretty tough cookie, and Rita decides to stick by his side when she's convinced of his innocence. Hot on Santees' trail are cops (including Geoffrey Lewis as Sheriff Cepeda) and a pair of detectives, Severence (George Segal) and Rudisill (Beau Starr).

If one is partial to scenes of very cool cars driving very fast, "Joshua Tree" does deliver the goods, especially in an intense climactic chase that also shows off the beauty of the desert vistas (the movie was smartly shot using the 2.35:1 aspect ratio). But the aforementioned massacre of assorted Chinese goons is a beauty, with all of the bloodletting going on, the hammy acting of the guys getting shot, and Santees' acrobatics.

Dolph's never been that much of an actor, but then he doesn't need to be in this sort of thing. He just needs to be totally bad ass, which he does succeed at. Alfonso is very good at both providing the eye candy and playing a sidekick who can take care of herself. Lewis is under utilized, but Segal and Starr are fun, and the supporting cast features a number of familiar faces that add to the enjoyment: Bert Remsen (who's a hoot in his one scene), Michael Paul Chan, Matt Battaglia, gorgeous Khandi Alexander, and Nick Chinlund.

Fans of this genre should be more than satisfied. As testosterone-fuelled escapism goes, this is pretty good and above average.

Seven out of 10.

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