“Good cop. Bad alien. Big trouble.”
Directed by Craig R. Baxley
Starring Dolph Lundgren
An alien lands on earth and steals a whole bunch of heroine. Then he goes round ODing people and harvesting their endorphins, to take back to his world and sell as the ultimate drug. He is pursued by an alien cop, and by Earth cop Jack Kane (Lundgren) and his ever-so-slightly dodgy FBI partner. That’s more or less it for plot.
What’s wrong with it?
Dark Angel is Men in Black Lite. It’s pretty low on ideas, and more than a little sloppy in execution. Much of it is confusing, and many of the characters don’t have much to do. In particular, the love interest coroner barely shows up for half the film, then gets in on the final chase/fight sequence, only to do bugger all. The fights are fairly duff, mostly involving aliens firing big guns at each other and stuff exploding behind people. Also, the alien drug dealer’s funky heroine injector/endorphin extractor gauntlet just isn’t cool enough to bear showing us the same sequence four or five times.
What’s right with it?
Not much really, although from the studio’s point of view it was probably fairly cheap to make.
How bad is it really?
It doesn’t stink; it’s just really dull.
Dodgy FBI partner tries to remove a spinny disc that just keeps killing from the magnet of a stereo speaker, at which point it zips around the room and breaks stuff. It’s pretty naff, but probably one of the better scenes.
What’s up with…?
- Jack Kane’s swish-ass bachelor pad? I doubt he paid for that on a cop’s salary.
Production Values – Second – or maybe third – string. It’s all fairly cheap, with even the space guns being all muzzle flare and things exploding, but not too obtrusively naff. 13
Dialogue and Performances – So-so. I mean, not stinky, but nothing particularly distinguished. Kudos for the fact that even the one-line extras do seem able to deliver a sentence with a little feeling. 12
Plot and Execution – Flimsy. Good alien, bad alien; good cop, dodgy cop. Obtrusive non-sex love interest. The yuppy drug dealer who just gets ignored in amongst all the alien stuff, despite the fact that he killed the lead character’s partner. There are a lot of threads in Dark Angel, most of which don’t get much airtime, or have many links to the rest of the story. 16
Randomness – Aside from the oscillating plot elements, there isn’t too much randomness. 8
Waste of Potential – There have definitely been better alien criminal running amok on the earth films made, but there have also been worse. 13