Action-superstar Dolph Lundgren propels this hard-hitting adventure as an ex-Special Forces officer hired to lead a band of treasure hunters on a dangerous expedition to find a priceless Buddhist artifact.
© 2007 Cinequest Films Inc./Golden Ocean. All Rights Reserved.
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Now this Dolph offering is much better and even quite good as Dolph beats his way through many baddies across Mongolia in search of an ancient scroll thing in an 'Indy' type adventure. The film starts with a good illegal street fighting sequence which could of progressed into a really good fight flick (ala 'Bloodsport') but the treasure hunting theme is still fun. The cast isn't too bad in this romp, Shriver being the best in a curious way as he looks and comes across as Joel Schumacher, for real!!. He also plays the creepy scroll searcher really well and with a neat camp twist. The action is OK but nothing too special where as the location work is reasonable and unique being in Mongolia but the baddies are the same usual shaven headed thugs which is just so dull. Its just acceptable in my opinion but nothing brilliant.
- phubbs1, Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Could of been better if it was bigger budget and was better excuted. But manages to be a decently entertaining action-adventure of the independent film world.
- allan913, Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Soldier. Fighter. Seeker. Legend. Diamond Dogs delivers exactly what it promises - Dolph Lundgren kicking some ass! This is your standard direct-to-DVD action claptrap that strides through familiar territory. It could more or less be branded as a poor man's version of a modern-day Indiana Jones. On that note, it's endowed with a plot regarding an ancient Buddhist artefact (and the quest to find it), which adds further credence to the statement that Diamond Dogs aspires to be the next National Treasure or Raiders of the Lost Ark. It never quite reaches the level of these films it desires to emulate (not even close), but who cares? Once you learn to accept the below-par acting and the laughable plot contrivances, you can enjoy watching the Dolphster casually slaughtering bad guys. If you watch the film on its own terms, there's fun to be had - a substantial amount of it. For this particular outing, the Dolphster is Xander Ronson; a former soldier now living in Inner Mongolia who has fallen on hard times. Ronson offers a security service, but hasn't had a client in two years and has been reduced to making money from fighting illegally in an underground fighting circuit (collaborating with a friend who bets on him to win, which he always does). Unfortunately, Ronson is heavily in debt and will be sent to prison if his debts aren't paid within a few weeks. Fortuitously for our brooding hero, he's approached by the wealthy Chambers (Shriver) - a fortune-seeking scumbag in search of an ancient (and extremely valuable) Buddhist artefact known as the Tangka. Chambers offers Ronson the job as head of security and guide for the trip, for which he will be paid extraordinarily well. Unfortunately for the whole group, not only is this bejewelled artefact supposedly cursed but a group of dastardly Russian mercenaries are also on a quest seeking the Tangka. Diamond Dogs is primarily marred by its script, which is bereft of originality and overflowing with predictability. However, to be fair, these are no real biggies - after all, if you're in the mood for a Dolph Lundgren actioner you're obviously not seeking anything that will engage on a cerebral level. Therefore, the script is deeply flawed but considering its nature this is no surprise. However, Diamond Dogs does fail in the pacing department. The script contains usually tedious dialogue, and the gaps between action scenes are occasionally unforgivable. The lack of action is evidently due to the film's ambitions: to be considered in the same league as the Indiana Jones films, wherein exposition plays a crucial role. The story here, however, isn't interesting enough; in truth it's devoid of any possibilities for intellectual discussions or grandiose scenarios. The story also seems incomplete, as if missing a monologue concerning the background of the Tangka. This is why Indiana Jones always does it right - the protagonist knows what he's doing, and can reveal interesting trivia pertaining to the artefact in question in small bits scattered generously throughout each adventure. Diamond Dogs adheres strictly to B-movie conventions that dictate films of this disposition. In the film's defence, though, it does manage to circumvent various proverbial clichs of the genre. A young girl enters the picture, for instance, but she's no love interest. Production for Diamond Dogs took place in Inner Mongolia, lending a strange otherworldliness to the movie. Beautiful vistas are on display as the treasure hunt transpires, and the action occurs on ideal terrain. It has also been bestowed with a certain grittiness not usually present in run of the mill DTD flicks. Unfortunately, when Ronson & company enter the ancient crypt said to contain the Tangka it lacks marvel and awe. It looks cheap, as if an old cellar populated by lawn ornaments. Elaborate booby-traps are non-existent...the only traps present are nothing special and barely threatening. The Tangka is merely glanced at, and what we see resembles cheap plastic beads glued to construction paper. Where's the shiny gold that catches our attention whenever it enters the frame? This was definitely made on the cheap! Action sequences are somewhat competent, and are infused with Dolph's glorious directorial talents. They're very noisy and very violent. Bare-knuckle fights at the beginning are gritty, bloody and quite enthralling. The occasional shootouts are also something special. The low budget is only semi-obvious. There's enough blood being spilt and folks being violently dispatched to distract us from the evident budget problems. The body count is tremendously high, each death is exceedingly bloody, and only Xander steps out of the flames in one piece in a final scene that appears to pay homage to The Searchers. Perhaps most commendable is the lack of diabolical slow motion. I enjoyed indulging in this little guilty pleasure as the bloodshed satisfies and the action is exhilarating. Dolph Lundgren is no stranger to this type of film as he also serves as executive producer and, to a minor extent, director (uncredited). It's difficult not to like the Dolphster as he wades through various battlefields and protects himself with an endless amount of bullets. Predictably, though, he's quite invincible and bullets magically skirt around him (even when his cover is poor). The cast is filled with mainly disposable actors, with few exceptions (Dolph being one of them). Perhaps the biggest shock to me was how much I came to like the slightly effeminate William Shriver as Chambers. He's wholly believable in his role; coming across as a character from an 80's action flick (you know you love them). Every other member of the cast is quite talent deficient, however, especially Nan Yu as Chambers' step-daughter. All in all, Diamond Dogs is among the better additions to Dolph Lundgren's rsum. Not as good as The Mechanik, but not as poor as Missionary Man. This is a fairly enjoyable, albeit clichd action-adventure film. There are too many sluggish points with an inadequate amount of quality action to compensate, but this is still sufficient for wasting time while enjoying pizza and beer. Diamond Dogs was reportedly intended to be the first movie in a trilogy of films chronicling the escapades of Dolph Lundgren's Xander Ronson. The second film even entered the planning stages with Dolph attached to direct and star...however, the production of Diamond Dogs was beset with a huge manner of dilemmas, resulting in the script being retooled and Dolph Lundgren stepping in to direct (relieving credited director Shimon Dotan) after only a few days of filming! This ultimately prevented the trilogy from materialising. While Diamond Dogs has its lethal flaws (including the fact the word "assistant" is consistently misspelled as "asstistant" throughout the end credits), it's still an entertaining diversion.
- PvtCaboose91, Wednesday, April 29, 2009