If you only know Dolph from Rocky IV, Masters of the Universe or The Expendables, here are five more movies to check out featuring everyone’s favorite former chemical engineer turned bouncer turned action hero (and don’t miss our Kindergarten Cop 2 commentary coming soon).
Blackjack: Dolph teamed up with the action master John Woo for Blackjack. Dolph plays Jack Devlin, a former US Marshall turned bodyguard for hire who is tasked with protecting a famous model from a crazed stalker/assassin. The movie was actually shot as a potential backdoor pilot for a USA show in 1998 but USA passed and it only aired as a USA original movie. Maybe they didn’t think they could keep up the level of action if Woo didn’t direct every episode or maybe Jack’s phobia of the color white (he has to wear sunglasses whenever something white enters his vision due to being hit point blank with a flashbang grenade early in the movie) was too ridiculous to maintain but it does have Woo’s usual over the top slo-motion and expertly choregraphed shootouts, so it’s definitely worth checking out for both Lundgren and Woo fans.
Command Performance: Although it’s one of his more recent movies, Command Performance is easily one of Dolph’s best, where he plays a drummer named Joe whose rock band is one of several selected for a special performance for the Russian president, but terrorists take over the concert hall and Joe has to John McClane his way through and save the day. It’s one of the best Die Hard knock offs (and probably better than the last proper Die Hard) and it features some fantastic music based kills from Joe, including using the power of guitar to kill a man:
If you don’t think that was one of the best things ever, I have nothing for you.
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning: If you bailed on the Universal Soldier franchise after the first movie, it’s understandable, there were two non JCVD movies and then JCVD came back and fought a virtual Michael Jai White, which wasn’t as awesome as it sounds. Universal Soldier: Regeneration though, and especially Day of Reckoning, are both definitely worth checking out though, as they are brutal, old school action movies with a strong supporting role from Dolph in both. In Day of Reckoning, JCVD’s Luc Devereux has gone full on Col. Kurtz and is building an army of Universal Soldiers with help from a clone of Dolph’s Andrew Scott. Scott activates other “UniSols” by injecting them with some sort of serum that puts them into a bizarre drug induced state where they see constant strobes flashing and a floating JCVD head telling them to join the cause. It all culminates in Scott Adkins, who is looking for revenge for his dead family, to take down both Dolph and JCVD in an incredible, almost one take, final battle.
Red Scorpion: Playing up the Russian aspect of his persona following Rocky IV, Dolph played Soviet supersoldier Nikolai Radchenko in 1988’s Red Scorpion, who is stationed in Africa and tasked with assassinating a rebel leader. He fails to do so and is stripped of his title and arrested by his superiors. Upon escaping, he is taken in and learns the ways of the native bushmen and eventually teams up with them and the rebels to take down the Soviet forces. It’s solid 80’s action from Joseph Zito, who delivered other B action classics like Missing in Action and Invasion USA and it co-starred the incorrigible M. Emmet Walsh as Dolph’s comedic sidekick.
Dark Angel: Also known as I Come in Peace, Dark Angel (not too be confused with the Jessica Alba show) follows Dolph as Jack Caine, a Houston detective who is investigating a series of brutal killings that turn out to be the handiwork of an alien drug dealer who is trying to gather human adrenaline, which is the alien equivalent of heroin or cocaine. It’s full of dark humor with possibly the quippiest Dolph character ever, explosions and a Terminatoresque villain in the main alien villain and there’s even an alien cop who shows up later to offer some help.