One In The Chamber Blu-ray Review
No matter how many terrible films fill his resume, Cuba Gooding Jr. will always be known as Academy Award winning actor, Cuba Gooding Jr. (JERRY MAGUIRE). And no matter how many times we are reminded that Dolph Lundgren has a master’s degree in chemical engineering and is a Mensa member, he will always be the evil Russian Drago from ROCKY IV. The one thing ONE IN THE CHAMBER has going for it, is that these two fallen actors are awesomely committed as two opposing assassins chasing down conflicting mob bosses.
Cuba is Ray Carver, one of the best assassins in his field. He has been hired from one mobster to take down another mobster. Dolph is Aleksey Andreev, a mysterious hit man also known as The Wolf. He is hired by the opposing mobster to take down the other. I’m using the term “mobster” in a general way as the film is very specific stopping on different characters and giving mob titles to each nameless and faceless character who seem to be the catalyst for this very bland story. These guys are given way too much face time, considering the film is about our two stars.
Ray is our lead as we are treated to a half-formed subplot of him reading scriptures that don’t always match up with what is going on screen and a very awkward story about a woman he is stalking because he felt guilty about killing her father when she was just a child. Somehow this unbelievably transfers to a hurried love story that I’m guessing works due to the daddy issues Ray caused. While these actions begin to paint Ray as a “good guy,” ONE IN THE CHAMBER vehemently wants you to remember he is a “bad guy.” At one point Ray even proclaims, “I’m the bad guy” in which Aleksey responds, “funny, I thought I was.”
I am dead serious about my high praise for the casting of Gooding Jr. and Lundgren. The odd pairing makes the film just bearable enough to not look away. Specifically, Mr. Dolph Lundgren who gives a wildly ridiculous performance as a Cajun man with unique style. His tongue in cheek swagger will put a grin on your face as you keep waiting for his next scene. The major problem is they only share the screen a couple of times and then the rest of the film is filled with a bunch of random mobster dudes talking about who’s gonna kill who.
Assassin films are almost always a good time. The basic idea of two wildly different assassins gunning down one another’s enemies is familiar but still decent enough for entertainment. However, the execution is where ONE IN THE CHAMBER falls flat. The over abundance of explosions and gun battles are a bit sensationalized without any originality. The creativity is seriously lacking with men walking in the middle of the room guns blazing. Explosions and bullets don’t always equate to high energy. Although, ONE IN THE CHAMBER does have “one” positive asset in its “chamber” (I apologize) and that’s Dolph Lundgren. While I can’t recommend the film, I do recommend Mr. Lundgren’s energized, properly over the top performance.
Video: (1080p, 1.78:1) The picture is not as crisp and clean as one might expect from a 2012 Blu-ray release.
Audio: (Dolby TrueHD 5.1) The audio is extremely disappointing in ONE IN THE CHAMBER with the vocal levels barely audible and the background music and effects over powering the speakers.
One In The Chamber: Behind The Scenes (9:45): Cuba Gooding Jr. and Dolph Lundgren both give interviews about the film, while the featurette shows different fighting scenes being choreographed.