Hey gang, Valkor here. Director Giorgio Serafini has had a couple of his films pass through the Val-Cave; his first effort, "Game of Death" starring Wesley Snipes, had its moments but didn’t score big with me. His second, more recent film however, Blood of Redemption (BoR) starring Dolph Lundgren, was a complete turnaround winning the gold for a nice action/drama combo. Well another Serafini film has found its way across my desk, Ambushed, which brings back many of the stars from Redemption, including Lundgren. Does this mean he’ll score another hit? By the look of that gold logo, I’d say that’s a resounding yes. Some spoilers ahead, so go with caution.
The main plot of ambushed follows the lives of Frank (Daniel Bonjour) and Eddie (Gianni Capaldi – BoR), two best friends turned business partners who've opened a hot night club but also do a little dabbling into drugs. Frank decides to cut out the middle man, killing the dealers and taking all the drugs; why give these guys a cut when you can take all of the action right? However, the drugs belonged to big time dealer named Vinnie (Vinnie Jones – BoR); he tracks down Frank and Eddie and while he doesn’t come right out and say they stole the drugs, he does make them an offer they cannot refuse – they have two days to find and sell his drugs, brining him full payment, or else. This opens the door for Frank and Eddie to get in on the big score they’ve been looking for. But it comes with a cost.
We move on to Detective Reiley (Randy Couture – The Expendables), a dirty cop on the take. You see Frank took out an important flow of cash for Reiley when he took out the dealers. And not only does he track down Frank and Eddie, he learns everything he needs to know about them and tries to use that info to push Frank to start paying him “protection money”. Frank doesn’t go for it and that’s when the shit hits the fan.
Finally we have Maxwell (Lundgren), DEA officer about to close out on an investigation leading into an international drug ring, which includes Frank, Eddie, Vinnie and even Reiley who gets caught into the mix. Maxwell is able to infiltrate Frank and Eddie’s operation using his officer/girlfriend Beverly (Carly Pope) as his inside gal. Unfortunately for Max, she’s gone too far in, going so far as abusing the drugs she’s supposed to take in.
It all comes to a close as Frank wants a way out of his drug life and onto greener pastuers, Reiley wants revenge and Maxwell just wants to get the job done. It’s about to go down big time! I won’t spoil the ending about who wins and who dies, but I will say this about Serafini – the dude knows how to shoot action and he knows how to fill his movies with some of the hottest women around.
“Ambushed” is an intricate web of greed, loyalty, and betrayal, linking together multiple characters and stories into one climatic and explosive ending. The plot starts out a bit complex, but it’s very easy to follow once it starts going. The pacing is brisk and even and the film does a great job of balancing out the action with the story. Speaking of the action, it pops up at all the right moments, while not as heavy as I would like, there’s just enough to keep things interesting. Now that ending – wooo! That ending is nice!!! Everything build up towards it and it doesn’t let down. In some areas it kinda does a little, but it’s so minor. What makes it so great is the people who die - you really don’t expect it when you see who's chosen; but I’m glad that route was taken as it adds more grit to the film. Plus points goes to the parallel between what was going on at Frank’s girlfriend’s house with Eddie’s retelling of a Bugs Bunny short. It’s crazy, it’s hysterical and it sets things off just right. I was floored when it was all over! The acting is solid and I thought it was cool that Lundgren isn’t such a downer in this film; he gets in a few jokes, cracks a smile a few times and he kicks a lot of ass – essentially he does what he does best, but with a bit more gusto. I freakin love Vinnie Jones and it’s a tad disappointing he wasn’t in the film as much as he was in BoR, but his on screen presence is still quite powerful. Daniel and Gianni churn out a couple of solid performances as well as the remaining cast. And PerfectView goodness… geez where do I begin, let’s just give it to all of the female eye candy in this one because everyone looks so yummy.
There isn’t too much of a negative I’d give the film; I would have liked more Vinnie Jones present, a few more action scenes here and there, and maybe an explosion or two to really give the film a serious testosterone boost. But those are just minor quips; the ending truly makes up for anything that’s missing.
Ambushed (originally titled Hard Rushed) is available; and if you’re looking for a solid thriller, with a great storyline, a serious dose of action and an ending that’s full of win, then look no further you’ve found it. And out of TOV 5 stars, Ambushed gets a 4.5.