CALDWELL'S TAKE CALDWELL'S MOVIE REVIEW: "The Package" - Has Steve Austin found his groove in latest action movie role?
Feb 21, 2013 - 10:36:27 AM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
The latest DVD action movie starring "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, "The Package," sticks to the Stone Cold action movie script - family member in trouble, plenty of fight scenes, "hostage" predicaments, Austin's character fights out of "stacked decks," and plenty of great Stone Cold one-liners.
But, as Austin continues to rack up frequent-flier miles to Vancouver to film these action bouts, the quality of the movies has improved, too.
Most notably, Austin seems more comfortable in his skin as an actor. In this movie, Austin plays the role of "Tommy," a mob-boss bouncer with military experience who turns into an errand-runner. The mission is to deliver a package to co-star Dolph Lungdren's ailing character, but the movie's twist is what the package really is.
Along the way, Austin's character shows vulnerability, questioning whether he can still hang, overcome the bad guys intent on killing him, and complete the mission. The plotlines and characters are painted with wide brush strokes, such as a standard mob boss holding "meetings" in a darkly-lit bar/restaurant. So, subtleties from Austin's character are quite noticeable.
Austin doesn't go beyond his range of showing vulnerabilities, though, sticking to the Paul Heyman formula of maximizing strengths and minimizing weaknesses as an actor.
The fight scenes are the movie's strength, as would be expected in a straight-to-DVD action movie. The intriguing part is seeing what crafty, carefully-calculated maneuvers Austin's character, Tommy, comes up with to escape multiple "handicap match" situations.
The scriptwriters attempt to flesh out the central story at the climax when Tommy and Lundgren's character meet up for the first time in the movie. This encounter also sets up the ultimate escape for Austin's resourceful, underdog character.
Going into the movie, expectations should be reasonable for a DVD release - it's a compact, hour-and-a-half film suitable for unwinding on a Friday night and getting lost in an action movie world. For Austin, he's found his groove as an actor and this was the right role for him being able to routinely surprise the audience with strong escapes from tricky situations.
Austin also appears to be in good physical shape, which was certainly a requirement for the role. Does it mean he could have a one-off wrestling return match? Only Austin knows the answer to that. But, after signing a new action movie deal with Anchor Bay and promoting his own Broken Skull Ranch production company, it appears Austin's focus will remain on building his action movie portfolio. Based on his performance in "The Package," he's obviously becoming more comfortable with wrestling seemingly in the rear-view mirror.
[ FYI: "The Package" is available on DVD and Blu-ray systems through Amazon.com and AnchorBayEntertainment.com here - http://bit.ly/VxVffG ]
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