Monday, December 8, 2014

I Come In Peace (1990)

Title: I Come In Peace (1990)

Director: Craig R. Baxley

Cast: Dolp Lundgren, Brian Benben, Betsy Brantley, Matthias Hues, Jay Bilas

I Come In Peace is a film that is known as ‘Dark Angel’ in some parts of the world because that’s the name under which it was marketed worldwide, that was the films original title, but when it was released in the United States, its title was changed to I Come In Peace because two other films had that title already, so to avoid confusion they went with ‘I Come In Peace’, which to be honest is a far better title for the film if you ask me. The title alludes to the films biggest one liner, just before the alien is about to kill someone he says, “I Come In Peace”, which he repeats all throughout the film. But only Lundgren’s character has the bravado to reply “and you go in pieces asshole!”; which is of course spewed in a traditional 80’s one liner tone. So anyhow to me this film will always be I Come In Peace. But alternate titles aside, this movie is so underrated!

The films premise is fairly simple; an alien crashes down on earth looking for one thing: drugs! You see, this alien is an intergalactic drug dealer, and the drug he sells is something he sucks out of the human brain. It’s up to Detective Jack Caine (Dolph Lundgren) and his obnoxious F.B. I. agent partner (Brian Benben) to find and stop the alien who keeps killing random people by sucking brain juice out of them.

I Come In Peace was directed by Craig R. Baxley; now before you go “who the hell is Craig R. Baxley?” let me inform you that even though this director isn’t a household name, you’ve probably seen some of his films, and if you haven’t then you should. That is if you like 80’s style explosive action.  The films Baxley is responsible for are ActionJackson (1988) which is this explosively violent cop movie starring Carl Weathers as this kick ass cop trying to stop a corrupt politician wannabe, then there’s Stone Cold (1991) starring Brian Bosworth as an undercover cop who infiltrates a terrorist motorcycle gang in order to stop them from committing a political assassination and finally, I Come In Peace (1990) the film I’m reviewing today. What do all these three films have in common? Massive amounts of action, car chases, shoot outs and explosions!

When I say explosions, I mean copious amounts of them. I mean, every five seconds something is literally blowing up on this film! Mr. Baxley understands the effectiveness of a good explosion; he’s something of a kindred spirit to Michael Bay in that way. Let’s see, first off we start with the fact that the alien in this movie shoots a big ass machine gun, now this isn’t just any old machine gun. Whatever this machine gun hits, it explodes into a huge ball of flame! One of the things this film is praised a lot for is the fact that none of the explosions are computer generated, these actors were practically getting their butts burned by the hot flames, in some instances you can tell they were pretty damn close! So kudos to the effects team on this show, this was the time when practical on camera effects were the norm, it’s such a breath of fresh air from all the CGI seen in today’s films. What the director did was fill the film with as many explosions as he could to give to the producers (and the audience) more bang for their buck. For a 7 million dollar film, you get your money’s worth of action, trust me! Because of its ‘small budget’ the story is kept small in scale, for example, we never see an alien spaceship or anything. The film is scope is small, not epic in the least, but it’s entertaining because it’s got aliens with big ass guns! Director Craig R. Baxley was a stunt coordinator on a lot of television and films, so he knows his way around an action scene, and it shows in all his movies, that’s why I recommend them.

Yes, there are cheesy elements to this movie, mainly the avalanche of one liners, like the aforementioned “you go in pieces asshole!” and “Fuck You Spaceman!” The two cops are always fighting and bickering, in traditional buddy cop movie fashion. Lundgren plays the loose cannon tough guy, while Brian Benben plays the dorky and much more vulnerable F.B.I. agent. It’s an unlikely team up, Lundgren is a freaking tower next to Benben’s impish looks, but I guess it works in the end. This movie reminded me a bit of The Hidden (1987), because of the whole angle of having an evil alien wrecking havoc while a good one is trying to stop him, plus, same as in The Hidden, I Come in Peace plays out like a buddy cop movie. Final words is that as you might have figured out by now, this movie isn’t Shakespeare, but it’s explosive cheesy fun, sure it was released in 1990, but it was shot during 89 and therefore still retains that 80’s style action film vibe. Plus it has an alien that shoots deadly flying cd’s! It’s a prime example of 80’s action; we could say that it was one of the last 80’s style action films to be released.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5   


teddy crescendo said...

I like the way they refer to the gun as simply: "the space gun", cool ! ! !.

jimmie t. murakami said...

Francisco, just with regards to what you were saying about the explosions in this movie and how they`re much better and more impressive than the mostly unconvincing CGI horse-shit that we see today, i like the way the explosions in 80`s movies seemed to be filmed at three-quarter speed there-by giving the impression that the object thats exploding is literally coming apart at the seams as it explodes, those explosions are so exhilerating to watch, the ones in "Predator" and "Robocop" were the same, the way the explosion totally engulfs the screen (in a kind of semi-slow motion) lends it an almost 'work of art' feel, one might say.

steve prefontaine said...

I really liked the exploding truck at the end of "The Terminator" (1984) and the exploding Jumbo Jet at the end of "Die Hard 2" (1990), admittedly they were done with miniatures but they were still more stunning than most of todays CGI con-trickery.

Franco Macabro said...

Teddy: It's all part of the cheese.

Jimmie: Agree with you on the whole explosions thing, way better when they were real.

Steve: Yeah, when miniatures are done right, they work way better than a lot of CGI seen today, James Cameron used tons of miniatures in his films, especially in his Terminator films.

JamesD said...

Love the review.
I used to watch this movie all the time as a child.

In the near future,can you do a review on the 1989 film "An Innocent Man"?

Franco Macabro said...

Is it any good, worth my time? I ask cause I've never seen it.

JamesD said...

Yes,it's pretty good


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