BLAST (1997)

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BLAST (1997)
Directed by Albert Pyun

The Olympic games are being held in Atlanta, where the President of the United States and world leaders will be in attendendance. The U.S. Women’s swimming team head for the Olympic aquatic centre for their training but before they can even get into the water, they are all taken hostage by ruthless terrorist Omodo and his highly-skilled crew who rig all the entrances and exits with motion-sensored explosives. Omodo reels off his demands via television link and proves he means business by shooting one of the hostages. With the entire facility locked down, no one can save them except for janitor Jack Bryant who finds himself in the middle of the chaos. With an outside telephone link to veteran Detective Leo, who’s been attempting to catch and thwart Omodo for several years, Jack must do all he can to save the innocent lives inside the centre.

Nineties terrorist thriller BLAST takes place almost exclusively in the aquatic centre and although that may sound exciting, it really isn’t. The basement and locker room are about as exhilerating a location as they can find inside the facility and when you’ve got a cat and mouse chase between the terrorist squad and the lone janitor Jack, there’s not much environment to use to their advantage that would get your adrenaline pumping. Jack, being a former Olympian who spiralled downhill after missing gold and ending up with bronze, turns out to have gained his medal in Taekwondo so cue lots of kicks, punches and combat even though Jack suffers from an injured leg. It seems not even highly trained killers are a match for our Jack as he takes them on up close and personal.

Andrew Divoff stars as terrorist Omodo who seems to make a habit of taking people hostage before blowing up the buildings and killing everyone inside regardless if his demands are met or not. In this instance, Omodo is after money and he’s keen to kill every last swimsuit-clad youngster in the building if it means getting it, though he’d probably do it anyway for fun too. Divoff seems comfortable playing the baddie as he so often has in other work such as Toy Soldiers and television series Lost. Whilst he’s given a role that suits his style, there’s only so much he can do with it with a plot and script that quickly runs out of steam. Even his scenes with Linden Ashby (Jack) and Detective Leo (Rutger Hauer) are short lived. Speaking of which, Rutger Hauer’s character is the most nonsensical character I’ve come across. His screentime is probably around 5 minutes, he sports an unusual hairstyle reminiscent of a Native American (which I assume he’s meant to be?) and has a crazed twinkle in his eye which contributes to the crazy, laughable climax. It’s all rather weird and feels so out of place that it turns the film into a complete joke whilst at the same time providing more entertainment in a minute than witnessed in the last hour.

It may have a strong opener but it doesn’t take long for BLAST to fizzle out with a whimper with its lacklustre plot and tired script that hits a dead end early on in the film.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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About Bat 4417 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Mafia III.

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