Film & TV

Review – The Package

When the poster for a movie is half Dolph Lundgren’s face and half Steve Austin’s face surrounded by explosions, you know you are in for a treat.

The plot is fantastically straightforward. Tommy (Steve Austin) is a courier hired to deliver a package to The German (Dolph Lundgren). During this epic quest of delivery, Tommy is attacked by a mysterious third party of henchmen…

There are two things which keep you watching The Package. The first is the titular ‘package’. A clever device used by the writer to keep the mystery under wraps until the end which, firstly, keeps you watching till the very end to find out what it is, and secondly, spares us until the last 10 minutes from finding the lacking plot vastly incoherent.

The second is, of course, the violence, the action, the misé-en-scene, this movie’s raison d’être. Don’t worry, the movie doesn’t disappoint. If you choose to watch The Package, for approximately 90 minutes you will be treated to carefully crafted scenes of Lundgren and Austin decimating hoards of the finest inept henchmen to have ever graced the silver screen.

Austin’s character is particularly apt at dispensing the cronies who are relentlessly and uselessly pursuing him. From watching The Package, I can only conclude that Austin is some kind of unstoppable killing machine… he is invincible. At no point do we see any sort of weakness. Tommy never, ever, loses his cool or gives the feeling he is in any danger whatsoever (a character trait popularised by Steven Seagal) and he never tires of dispatching henchmen. Throughout the course of the movie we see Tommy survive a car crash, get stabbed, get punched and kicked in the head, hit with pipes and other blunt weapons, get his fingers broken in a torture scene, garrotted, beaten up by Dolph Lundgren, and of course stands 3 feet from a gun barrel and avoids all harm. Even when strapped to a table after all of this trauma, he manages to bite out someone’s throat.

Lundgren, as always, portrays a high level of invulnerability combined with that special Lundgren charm we action-lovers have become so affectionate for. Nothing negative can be said. He stars in perhaps the best scene The Package has to offer, in which he kills an entire room full of henchmen in ski-masks armed with assault weapons with the aid of some cutlery. This is truly some of the finest cinema of 2012.

The best or possibly worst features about movies such as these are the subplots which get so horribly neglected. Two such sub-entities are present here. All of Tommy’s motivation seems to be in pursuit of freeing his brother from some kind of ‘debt’. Don’t worry, you will never find out what this is, but it gives you just enough reason to say ‘Oh, so that’s why Tommy didn’t just not deliver the package’.

Secondly, we have Tommy’s love life characterised in the opening scenes by bland faux-romantic expositional dialogue that just makes you laugh. Surely with such a ‘deep emotional connection’, you might be tricked into thinking this is going to lead somewhere, but no, it doesn’t. We as the audience can only assume its presence is to make it clear that Austin isn’t an unstoppable robot killing machine, which every other scene attests to.

I’m not going to kid around any longer, only die-hard fans will be able to stomach The Package. Nothing about this film is particularly memorable, however it is largely good fun. You can’t ever go far wrong with a line-up of Austin and Lundgren.

Jon Lawrence

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2 Comments on this post.
  • Ben Higgins
    20 February 2013 at 17:07
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    What you would say its awards chances are/if any for the coming season?

  • Jon Lawrence
    21 February 2013 at 15:16
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    It probably would have a good shot at awards, except for the fact that other movies were released last year.

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