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Review: After Dark Action Pics 'El Gringo,' 'The Philly Kid,' 'Stash House' & 'Transit' An Unven Offering Of Genre Fare

The Playlist By Gabe Toro | The Playlist June 9, 2012 at 11:04AM

After Dark has been busy releasing a full slate of genre fare, and today we take a look at the After Dark Action lineup which dropped no less than four new movies in May. They each had a brief theatrical run are now available on VOD. Read on below to hear our thoughts on these movies featuring Dolph Lundgren, Scott Adkins, Jim Caviezel and more.
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Stash House

"Stash House"
For all the flak action star Dolph Lundgren draws for his monotone delivery and his stone-faced seriousness that is a supposed sign of limited skill, it's startling to see him surrounded by so much amateur-hour garbage in this home invasion thriller. Lundgren and a terrible Jon Huertas are two shady possibly-ex-government types trying to break into a heavily secured house that's been foreclosed, but not before the two stashed a motherlode of cash and/or drugs. Unfortunately, the prospective buyers, an attractive young couple, have moved in a little too early, and are paying the price for their overzealousness. Yes, they're about to get Dolphed.

The couple is played by the attractive duo of Briana Evigan and Sean Faris. Evigan acquits herself well doing what women usually do in these types of films, which is yell and run scared, then make an implausibly valiant last stand. Meanwhile, a quick IMDb search reveals Faris once starred in "Never Back Down." Not that we advocate typecasting, but by the half-hour mark, he's already whining and crying. It does seem like the movie would have been more appealing had he held off on the backing down just a bit longer. Maybe never. The two of them hold steady as their attackers try to find ways inside a house that's borderline boobytrapped, but most of the time is spent looking at Lundgren and Huertas through security camera footage as they walk in circles around the house. Thrills aplenty. [D+]

Transit

"Transit"
In a role that doesn't involve much steely seriousness or placid, distant line-readings, Jim Caviezel is a dad driving his wife and two kids to a camping getaway where they can bond together in the wake of his untimely, investment-related arrest. Unfortunately, the clan is tailed by a group of bank robbers who need somewhere to stash their cash. Turns out, in the hood of this average family car wasn't the best place, and a cat-and-mouse game ensues, as they hit the open highway in a MacGuffin-fueled duel of wits.

The thugs are played by an unlikely group led by James Frain, Harold Perrineau, Diora Baird and Ryan Donowho, and it seems as if they are an unlikely family themselves, an idea that would already be tired even if this group had any chemistry. With the exception of Baird, who brings surprising depth to her role considering she's got the lesser resume, these are TV actors desperately trying to imbue their movie-type parts with a little extra cinematic pizzazz, Frain by underplaying, Perrineau by overacting, and Donowho by skeeving it up. Neither is a match for Caviezel, who slowly morphs into an action hero lead for a superficially-satisfying final twenty minutes that involve high-speed chases, gunfights and bareknuckled brawls that essentially acknowledge the previous hour was a real waste of time. [C]

This article is related to: Dolph Lundgren, After Dark Films, Jim Caviezel, Review


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