The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take
Ever since 'Rocky IV' Dolph Lundgren has remained a formidable force inside my memory banks. Drago, the towering Russian boxing giant, made an indelible impression, mainly because he scared the crap out of me. I'd never laid eyes on a man built like that. The first time I saw that movie I was sure he was some sort of special effects creation like the Xenomorphs in 'Alien'. Making the totally ripped Rocky look puny was no easy task, but Drago was a rippling human specimen of pectorals, deltoids, and biceps. He looked like a gigantic undulating muscle out there.
I was sure that Lundgren would become a huge star after his stint fighting Balboa, I was wrong. Lundgren was tailor-made to inhabit that role. After taking on the iconic role of Drago, Lundgren faded into the obscurity of action-centric B-movies.
His latest direct-to-video starring role is as a world-renowned assassin in 'One in the Chamber'. This corny piece of junk also stars another washed-up actor in Cuba Gooding Jr. Although, Lundgren more-or-less chose this line of work, Cuba was forced into it after the quality of his projects slowly dwindle following his Academy Award win for 'Jerry Maguire.' He had a few big roles here and there, but over the early 2000s, Cuba's career careened off the feature-film ledge and ended up in the DTV ravine.
Ray (Gooding Jr.) is a professional assassin. He's meticulously careful in planning his attacks and efficiently executing his plans. The people he's assigned to kill don't stand a chance. Ray is that good.
Ray has been hired by the Suverovs, an organized criminal syndicate in Prague. Ray's job is to wipe the rival Tavanian family off the map. The Suverovs want to own Prague and the Tavanians are in the way.
In the opening sequence Ray sets up an impressive looking .50-caliber gun. He coolly locks onto his target through his viewfinder. The entire Tavanian family is meeting together, Ray plans to take them out. Through a hail of gunfire, Ray manages to kill the head honcho, Vlad Tavanian. However, Vlad's right-hand man Demyan Ivanov (Louis Mandylor), survives the attack and now he's out for blood.
Ray's anonymity is quickly compromised and Demyan hires a hitman of his own to come in and deal with Ray. Enter a wise-cracking, fedora-wearing, Hawaiian-shirt-sporting Lundgren. Dolph plays Aleksey "The Wolf" Andreev. He's a mythical folk hero of sorts. He's infamous among the world of killers for hire and now Ray must come face to face with him.
There isn't anything particularly inventive about this hitman vs. hitman DTV action moive, but Lundgren makes the whole thing watchable. He's the reason to tune in if you had any intention of doing so. Lundgren is so at home in this world. It's like he knows he's making terrible movies so he's having as much fun as he can. Gooding Jr. on the other hand acts like this role is as serious as anything he's ever done. It's like he's not in on the joke.
Lundgren is still an imposing presence on screen even though the years have weathered his looks and filled out his once chiseled physique. The sarcastic sense in which he plays Aleksey is perfect though. Here's a character that doesn't care about anything and an actor that appears to mirror his sentiments. It's a perfect combination. Now someone tell Cuba Gooding Jr. not to take it so damn seriously.
Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
The movie is pressed onto a 25GB Blu-ray Disc and is distrbuted by Anchor Bay. It's packaged in a standard keepcase and is Region A compatible.
The Video: Sizing Up the Picture
Surprisingly this DTV feature sports a great-looking, highly-detailed 1080p transfer. Yeah, I was surprised too. As for details, 'One in the Chamber' has a lot to offer.
The close-ups on Lundgren's time-haggard face reveal intricate two-day stubble, age lines, and crows feet. Even though his eyebrows, eyelashes, and facial hair are blonde it's all still distinguishable against his tanned skin. The movie's color palette deals in yellows, browns, and dark reds. These colors never appear muted. Instead they're rich and lively, which is something that I don't expect from DTV movies. They usually have flat muted colors and anemic shadow delineation.
Speaking of shadows, the ones here are deep and have good dimension to them. They accentuate faces and textures. Shimmering is noticeable from time to time. As far as this type of movie goes, 'One in the Chamber' is an above average offering in the video department.
The Audio: Rating the Sound
Speaking of shadows, the ones here are deep and have good dimension to them. They accentuate faces and textures. As far as this type of movie goes, 'One in the Chamber' is an above average offering in the video department.
You'll notice rather soon that the entire movie is extremely front-heavy, even though there should be a lot going on in the rears. As a matter of fact the rear channels are predominately silent throughout the movie. Even the movie's more action-packed scenes feature feeble support from the surround sound speakers.
You'd think that gunshots, especially from the monster gun Ray discharges at the beginning of the movie, would heave some heavy bass. If you thought that, you'd be wrong. The bass here is little more than a bump. It's far too light to even be considered low-end involvement. This is just an all-around disappointing track.
The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff
- 'One in the Chamber:' Behind the Scenes (HD, 10 min.) — The sole featurette on the disc is an EPK look at the movie with the standard interviews from actors talking about working on the movie.
HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?
There are no Blu-ray exclusives provided.
If you were thinking about picking up 'One in the Chamber' then Lundgren is the reason to watch it. It's too bad the movie focuses far too much on Cuba Gooding Jr.'s character. This is one of those flicks where you wonder what it would've been like had they put their main focus on the character that should've gotten most of the screen time. Alas, it's not to be. With unexpectedly nice video and troubled audio, I'd say that this is a rental at best. Don't go out of your way to buy it, you almost definitely won't watch it more than once.
|One in the Chamber|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||William Kaufman|
|Produced by||Justin Bursch|
|Written by||Derek Kolstad|
|Starring||Cuba Gooding Jr.|
|Music by||John Roome|
|Edited by||Russell White|
|Distributed by||Anchor Bay Entertainment|
One in the Chamber is a 2012 American action film directed by William Kaufman, and starring Cuba Gooding Jr., and Dolph Lundgren. Gooding and Kaufman had previously worked together on the 2011 film The Hit List. The film was released on direct-to-DVD in the United States on August 21, 2012. A new name of this film is "Shoot the killer".
The film heavily plagiarizes Albert Pyun-directed 1997 film Crazy Six, heaving the identical plot and characters and even being set in the same country, even though Pyun himself is not mentioned in the end credits.
After the fall of Communism, criminals from the USA flooded into Eastern Europe where they established a crime syndicate in a land where authorities were powerless and the laws were replaced by the crime. Dealers of weapons and drugs have turned Prague into their headquarters where they could make millions of dollars by selling weapons to various gangs.
Ray Carver (Cuba Gooding Jr.) is an assassin who works for two rival mafia families. After Carver fails to assassinate Demyan Ivanov (Louis Mandylor), one of the crime bosses he frequently works for, he decides to kill the brother of the other crime boss, Mikhail Suverov. Mikhail is angry and wants to kill Ray Carver to avenge his brother's death, so he calls Aleksey "The Wolf" Andreev (Dolph Lundgren), a legendary Russian hitman who is rumoured to be fictional. Aleksey is out for Carver, but soon they both realize that they're in the middle of a huge gang war. So they decide to team up and kill every member of the mafia in the Prague's criminal underworld.
- Cuba Gooding Jr. as Ray Carver
- Dolph Lundgren as Aleksey "The Wolf" Andreev
- Claudia Bassols as Janice Knowles
- Andrew Bicknell as Mikhail Suverov
- Catalin Babliuc as Live
- Louis Mandylor as Demyan Ivanov
- Leo Gregory as Bobby Suverov
- Lia Sinchevici as Mila
- George Remes as Gregori
- Alin Panc as Vlad Tavanian
- Billy Murray as Leo Crosby
- Florin Roata as Junior
- Alexandra Murarus as Nadia
- Aaron McPherson as Peter
- Andrei Ciopec as Waiter
- Bogdan Uritescu as Nikolai
- Jimmy Townsend as Ivan
- David Menina as Matous
- Bogdan Farkas as Goon #1
- Justin Bursch as Crony #1
- Patricia Poienaru as Juliana
- Slavi Slavov as Goon #2
- Annalee Gooding as Bus Passenger
- Zane Jarcu as Crony #2
Billy Murray was confirmed to join the cast on July 4, 2011. The trailer for the film was released on June 27, 2012. The first clip from the film was released on July 23, 2012.
The film is received mildly positive reviews. Movie Ramblings said "One In The Chamber is a perfectly serviceable thriller – just don’t expect too much." Very Aware said "It’s certainly not the worst thing you’ll ever put in your Blu-ray player, but put it in your Blu-ray player you should." The Other View said "At best, give it a rental before you buy, but I think it’s worth it." We've Got This Covered said "is a good example of how to make a good straight-to-DVD film."
It was filmed in Romania in 25 days on July 7 and August 1, 2011.
DVD was released in Region 1 on August 21, 2012 and Region 2 on August 27, 2012, it was distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment.