The Defender

The Defender (2004)
Vision Entertainment
Cast: Dolph Lundgren, Jerry Springer
Extras: Trailer, Previews

Like your action movies bloody and loud? Step right up. We're just about ready to begin…

The Unites States continues the global war on terror. Mohamed Jamar is considered to be the worst terrorist of them all. Jamar has been missing for months, yet his network of subversion continues as normal. The President stands firm. Jamar can never be killed, because this would pave the way for his martyrdom. Jamar must be caught and tried.

Roberta Jones, the head of the National Security Agency, sets up a secret meeting with Jamar at the Palace Hotel, a secluded spot outside Bucharest. No one knows about this meeting. Joining Jones is her security team of six, led by her personal bodyguard, Lance Rockford. This group is composed of former military special forces personnel. They are the best. However, when they arrive at the hotel, they are ambushed. They have to fight for their lives against an unknown enemy.
Eventually, Lance finds himself protecting the man who embodies everything he has dedicated his life to fight against. The final forty minutes of "The Defender" is a non-stop shooting, exploding blood-fest. Lance and his team battle the attackers. In the end, Lance is wounded, and every single member of his team is killed – including a black woman who is actually a terrorist spy.

"The Defender's" plot plunges into considerable disbelief as Lance mows down rows of attackers with considerable ease. Is this "Rambo 4?" Lance experiences flashbacks and visions under fire. Would such an unstable personality be suitable to protect an important head-of-state? Despite the juvenile script, the movie's pace is taut and fast-moving. It's a slick production – the camera constantly moving with the flow of the action.

"The Defender" is directed by and starring Dolph Lundgren, who's career began as a punching bag for Sylvester Stallone. Jerry Springer plays the President of the United States. Springer, of course, is the riot-TV talk-show host and former mayor of Cincinatti. As the President, he smokes cigars and struts around.

"The Defender" offers a widescreen transfer in the movie's 1.78:1 aspect ratio, but it is not enhanced for 16×9 TV sets, which is simply not accepatble in this day and age. Colors are good and blacks are strong and deep.
The audio on the release is a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Dialogue and sound effects are mainly forced to the front speakers. At the 42-minute mark, the heavy music soundtrack drowns out the dialogue, which can't be understood.

The extras for "The Defender" are not to be found. You do get a trailer – with no sound, and three previews for up-coming productions, including another one with Jerry Springer who seriously seems to consider a career in the movies now.

You never saw "The Defender" in a movie theater. It was produced and released as Direct-to-DVD but sadly even on DVD it can't keep up with the pace set by other studios. Completely overpriced at $24.99 the release is not nearly in the same ballpark with other releases at half the price.