By Steven Biscotti
Weaponized, the latest film to be released by Cinedigm, “a leading independent content distributor”, released earlier this month on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital. Starring Johnny Messner, the go to tough guy in action films of this genre, and sporting an impressive supporting cast of actors like Mickey Rourke and Tom Sizemore seems like just the kind of movie we’d see advertised theatrically. Yet we have it available direct to the home video format. Is the fast paced actioner quite the “white-knuckle, stunt-fueled film” that it’s hailed as? Alternative Mindz gave it a watch and we have the word on whether or not you should check this one out!
The market for films like Weaponized is out there. While for many that are excitedly counting down the days until the next major film release, it’s easy to overlook the likes of films like Weaponized. Especially as one scans the new releases and sci-fi/action genre department at a store like Target. Despite the class of movies that can sometimes go unnoticed and unspoken of, there are many solid entries out there that feature the talent we normally respond to. Director Timothy Woodward Jr.’s Weaponized is just that kind of movie. Quiet release yet it features a notable cast. During the late 80’s and throughout the 90’s (and early 00’s), Tom Sizemore was the ultra cool tough guy on camera. While he was never a leading man, he was surely one of the finest character actors in the business. With roles in pictures like Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, and Pearl Harbor, it’s hard to recall a picture that Sizemore wasn’t in. Yup, he was the undercover agent in Point Break and he fought that alien/creature/monster in Relic. But sometime after the Michael Mann series Robbery Homicide Division, he fell off the map – for reasons we won’t go into here. But, here we are in 2016, and Tom Sizemore is back and in a co-starring role inWeaponized. Not to mention he’s also next to the likes of Mickey Rourke, a man who needs no introduction. So, we have Sizemore and we have Rourke. The cast of Timothy Woodward Jr.’s futuristic action film holds up, but what about the picture itself?
Weaponized takes place in the not too distant future. After a series of terrorist attacks, one in which sees “a blatant attack” on the Pentagon, we learn of a private operation that allows soldiers to swap consciousness with a target, which allows American soldiers to combat terrorism in a more effective way. However, we are talking about a sci-fi/action film and, of course, the military program is severely abused. Johnny Messner’s homicide detective, named Walker, gets involved after an incident out in public and the rest is an hour and a half of reliable action that is both entertaining and a bit borrow some of other films.
Timothy Woodward Jr.’s Weaponized isn’t a bad movie. It’s just not terribly inspired. The story by Sean Ryan feels like a sort of distant cousin to the far superior Universal Soldier. If anything, Weaponized feels like a movie that should have starred Jean Claude Van Damme in the nineties, but for whatever reason, just never happened. Weaponized is enjoyable and the action is steady, but the most intriguing aspect of the movie is found within its cast. Tom Sizemore and Mickey Rourke are fun to watch and even though Johnny Messner is the go to tough guy, he does entertain us in a role that could have been played by many others.
Cinedigm does have a movie worth being discovered in Weaponized. More films by Cinedigm should be recognized as it is a healthy and vital aspect of the movie-making business. The cast and crew make up a movie that has as much put into it as many of the other films granted a larger release. At the end of the day, people wrote, produced, and created a film – going far beyond a stage that so many could only dream of. For that reason alone, Cinedigm should be applauded.
Alternative Mindz gives Weaponized two and a half stars.