Tag Archives: Linden Ashby

Against the Dark (2009, Richard Crudo)

Leave it to Steven Seagal to make a boring vampire movie. Worse, it’s not even the traditional vampires; instead, it’s the zombies from 28 Days Later… only they’re vampires here—Against the Dark is sort of like “Die Hard (with vampire-zombies) in a hospital.”

Crudo is a terrible director. The action sequences (the ones I saw, anyway) are poorly composed, poorly edited and possibly intended to be laughable.

However, he (or writer Mathew Klickstein, who might have turned in an interesting script if he spent as much time on it as his hipster IMDb biography) does come up with one decent sequence—there may be more but I’ll never know—with a vampire filing down her teeth as to pose as a human. Unfortunately, the human who kills her never even sees she’s filled down her teeth. Great setup, no followthrough.

The cast is awful. Seagal’s too overweight to do much, so he just stands around. Crudo tries to make it look like Seagal’s walking and fails. Tanoai Reed is terrible as the action star. Daniel Percival is a special kind of awful (the story’s split between Seagal and annoying younger survivors).

I suppose Jenna Harrison was okay. Linden Ashby’s around; he seemed better than the material. According to the credits, Keith David shows up at some point but I’ll never know.

How can you have Steven Seagal fight vampires and make it boring? Dark could never be good… but the absurdity factor alone should have made it watchable.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Richard Crudo; written by Mathew Klickstein; director of photography, William Trautvetter; edited by Tim Silano; music by Philip White; production designer, Serban Porupca; produced by Phillip B. Goldfine and Steven Seagal; released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Starring Steven Seagal (Tao), Tanoai Reed (Tagart), Jenna Harrison (Dorothy), Danny Midwinter (Morgan), Emma Catherwood (Amelia), Stephen Hagan (Ricky), Daniel Percival (Dylan), Skye Bennett (Charlotte), Linden Ashby (Cross) and Keith David (Lt. Waters).


RELATED

Advertisements

Mortal Kombat (1995, Paul W.S. Anderson)

I can’t think of another movie with such a dearth of acting ability. It’s another reason Mortal Kombat, specifically its financial success, is something of a milestone. Combined with the terrible CG, the movie’s box office achievement shows how little general audiences—specifically males—care about anything of quality.

I think Trevor Goddard gives the best performance. He’s supposed to be evil and dumb. I believed his character to be both.

For such a big movie, Mortal Kombat only has a handful of actors, supporting and principal. Robin Shou, Linden Ashby, Bridgette Wilson, Christopher Lambert and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa are basically the speaking cast (in addition to Goddard).

In another achievement, the film actually features a Lambert performance where he’s better than someone else. Tagawa’s exaggerated facial expressions suggest director Anderson told him to perform like a maniacal cartoon. It’s truly one of the silliest, bad performances.

The earnest attempts—from Shou and Wilson—are no better. Shou struts around with hair from an eighties band (all he needs is a hat). In fact, a hat would help, it might be able to act. Wilson’s even worse. Some of her problem is screenwriter Droney’s dialogue, but not all of it. She’s just awful. When the film follows her, it’s hard to believe Anderson and the crew were able to shoot the scene without giggling.

Ashby’s weak, also because of the script, but I suppose he’s better than Shou and Wilson.

Anderson’s got some decent setups, but Mortal Kombat’s still dreadful.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson; screenplay by Kevin Droney, based on video games by Ed Boon and John Tobias; director of photography, John R. Leonetti; edited by Martin Hunter; music by George S. Clinton; production designer, Jonathan A. Carlson; produced by Lauri Apelian and Lawrence Kasanoff; released by New Line Cinema.

Starring Robin Shou (Liu Kang), Linden Ashby (Johnny Cage), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Shang Tsung), Bridgette Wilson (Sonya Blade), Talisa Soto (Princess Kitana), Trevor Goddard (Kano), Chris Casamassa (Scorpion), François Petit (Sub-Zero) and Christopher Lambert (Lord Rayden).


RELATED

  • OTHER FILMS DIRECTED BY PAUL W.S. ANDERSON
  • OTHER 1995 RELEASES