Dark Angel (1990) starring Dolph Lundgren, Brian Benben, Betsy Brantley, Matthias Hues, Jay Bilas, David Ackroyd, Sherman Howard, Michael J. Pollard directed by Craig R. Baxley Movie Review

Dark Angel (1990)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Matthias Hues as Talec in Dark Angel

Lundgren is No Angel

Whilst Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis were all making big bucks with action movies during the 80s and 90s, Dolph Lundgren always seemed just on the outside of the success circle. He had some good movies and some definitely not so good ones, "Dark Angel" or "I Come in Peace" as it is also known is sort of in the middle with some intelligence, some intrigue, a lot of corniness and a certain amount of cliche. It's basically a mix of other movies, blending scenes and comedy to provide an entertaining but pretty stereotypical 90s action sci-fi movie.

Vice cop Jack Caine (Dolph Lundgren - Rocky IV) has an issue, he wants to bring down the drugs trade and in particular Victor Manning (Sherman Howard) who killed his partner Ray. But when several of Manning's gang get slaughtered in a strange attack Caine is assigned a new partner to work with in the shape of straight laced FBI agent Laurence Smith (Brian Benben) who's play it by the rule book attitude causes plenty of issues. Not as many when they discover that behind the strange slaughter as well as some other unexplained murders is an alien drug dealer after human endorphins.

Dolph Lundgren as Det. Jack Caine in Dark Angel

For the most the whole set up to "Dark Angel" feels like pure imitation of other movies, we have a cop duo who annoy each other and comically bitch their way through the movie, you have bad guy drug dealers in swanky suits and fast cars, you have geeky boffins, some half undressed women oh and alien drug dealers as well. All of this is blended with comedy and action which allows Dolph Lundgren to kick his way through various scenes and deliver corny dialogue in a sort of Stallone imitation. Sounds awful and it could easily have turned out so with all the run of the mill stuff but director Craig R. Baxley does a good job of keeping the whole thing moving at such a decent pace that much of the crassness is forgotten quickly.

What is surprising though is that although it does feel cheesy and cliche the alien drug dealer element, with the white eyed aliens who pump people full of heroin to get a more valuable drug makes for a not so much a clever twist but a different angle to make it more than a pale imitation of other movies. Coupled with some reasonable special effects considering it was released back in 1990 and there is a side to "Dark Angel" which does make it surprisingly intelligent.

As for the acting well as already mentioned Dolph Lundgren delivers a performance uncannily like Sylvester Stallone although that maybe more to do with the amount of corny dialogue he has to deliver. And in a strange way there isn't enough scenes for him to flex his muscles and kick butt, which is what you want from a Dolph Lundgren movie. Brian Benben is ok as the annoying Special Agent Laurence Smith delivering the humour from being a by the book agent opposed to Lundgren's renegade approach. Strangely Matthias Hues as bad alien Tulac delivers the most entertaining performance despite only having one line of dialogue to say every now and then "I come in peace". As Alien bad guys go he is menacing, creepy and the make up department makes it work.

What this all boils down to is that "Dark Angel" or "I Come in Peace" as it's also known is very stereotypical of those early 90s action/ sci-fi movies. It is complete nonsense with a lot of corny dialogue and stereotypes but it surprisingly works with the alien drug dealing element to make it at least a little interesting.