Box art for Dolph Lundgren is the Killing Machine

Dolph Lundgren is the Killing Machine

action & adventure

Action icon Dolph Lundgren (THE EXPENDABLES) stars as a KGB trained assassin known as 'Icarus' living a double life as a hitman and as a husband-father.

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Top Critic Reviews


- Alessandra Stanley, New York Times, Saturday, April 2, 2011

Audience Reviews

3 stars

not a bad movie it was fairly entertaining and action filled and i still think dolph lundgren is fun to watch

- ein2236, Sunday, November 14, 2010

2 stars

A bloody, gruesome movie. Icarus is living the life of a hitman until he becomes the hit. Now he wants out for the sake of his family. He is on the mission to clear his name but he's tangled in a web with no one to trust.

- MOVEECRITIC, Thursday, April 8, 2010

3 stars

"That's the funny thing about fate... if you don't follow, it will drag you where it wants to go." Icarus is the sixth motion picture that action star Dolph Lundgren has directed since his departure from theatrical Hollywood productions in favour of direct-to-DVD features (although it's officially his fifth, as he wasn't credited for his directorial efforts on Diamond Dogs). Unlike other formerly distinguished action stars (like Steven Seagal), Lundgren's recent direct-to-DVD action movies are generally good; fun, '80s-style shoot-'em-ups full of action and violence (Command Performance and The Mechanik being the best examples). 2010's Icarus represents a rather different type of flick for Lundgren. While it's indeed a tight, fast-paced, gripping movie that delivers a great deal of nourishing action, it's more of a thriller (like a Jason Bourne movie) than an all-out, balls-to-the-wall actioner. Those who enjoy watching the Dolphster kicking some butt will probably enjoy the film the most, but those with a taste for thrillers should also find Icarus to be a satisfying ride and a worthy attempt by all involved. The proverbial Dolph Lundgren protagonist in Icarus is a brooding hitman named Edward Genn. He lives a double life - he's a hired killer for the Russian mob who carries the codename of Icarus, but to his loved ones he's a divorced father working for an investment company. When a sudden mishap in Hong Kong blows Eddie's identity, he wishes to quit the life of a hitman, but soon realises he has become a target. Excessively violent shootouts, a few explosions, and an impressive body count are the order of the day in Icarus. With more command over his movies, though, Lundgren had the freedom to inject some semblances of substance into the characters. Believe it or not, Eddie is not a one-dimensional killing machine - he has personality and motivations, and feels like an actual human. This instantly sets Lundgren's movie apart from the works of Steven Seagal, whose DTD flicks are lifeless products which are carelessly manufactured to fund Seagal's (over)eating habits. Granted, the characters certainly aren't as well-drawn as they could've been, and the action appears to be first priority, but Dolph's original cut of Icarus was apparently different to the released version. Reportedly, Dolph's version focused more on character development and atmosphere, whereas the studio's recut version allowed for shorter pauses between the action sequences. As it is, Icarus is effective, but it feels underdone. A director's cut would certainly be welcome. With Lundgren's original vision sacrificed for the sake of a tighter film for easier consumption, Icarus arrives loaded with B-action movie goodness and assuredly delivers in the action department. The Dolphster's character cuts quite a swathe through the underworld, and the movie features a terrific half-hour stretch of nothing but straight action as Eddie finds himself set up and scrambles to save his family, all the while being pursued by a never-ending supply of armed goons. Put simply, the action is badass and pulse-pounding. Dolph once again proves himself to be a capable director, as he pulls off his most polished and stylised work to date, which is aided by James Jandrisch's atmospheric score. The choice of a heavy-metal rock song for the opening credits is questionable, but the stylised comic bookish title sequence it accompanies is very cool indeed. The most surprising thing about Icarus is how amazingly self-assured it looks. The budget was low, principal photography was apparently limited to about three weeks (due to filming being postponed and a delivery date having being locked in), and there was a short post-production window for Dolph to edit the film. He had to deal with the overbearing producers, too, who recut his work in the end. Yet, it possesses no earmarks of these problems. The performances are fairly good across the board, most notably Dolph Lundgren who is in his 50s but is still in phenomenal physical shape. As a matter of fact, Dolph was capable of pulling off a lot of his own stunts, unlike Steven Seagal whose excessive weight necessitates body doubles for all of his fight scenes. While Lundgren's acting skills have never been remarkable, the star is able to sell his character very well, and at no point is his acting bad to the point of distraction (which is more than what can be said for a lot of this generation's action heroes). Dolph's performance in Icarus is among his most nuanced work to date. Okay, so the big question looms: how can Icarus be considered a decent movie when it's heavily clichd, predictable, and lacking from a screenplay and character perspective? The answer: because it's a gripping, stylish, badass action-thriller that's more self-assured and enjoyable than a lot of other films of this ilk. Of course, others are welcome to disagree, but, in this reviewer's humble opinion, Icarus is a worthy attempt by Lundgren at something new and it's easy to respect the route the actor-director elected. It's also a terrific ride. Hopefully, after displaying a great deal of proficiency in the direct-to-DVD realm, Lundgren will make a return to theatrical Hollywood moviemaking. Perhaps Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables will provide the necessary platform for the star to expand onto a bigger canvas. If he can pull off a movie like Icarus on a respectable budget in a short period of time, it'd be great to see what he could pull off with more resources and time at his disposal.

- PvtCaboose91, Sunday, April 25, 2010