review by Bobby Blakey
Despite him being relegated to mostly to the straight to DVD market, I am still a fan of Dolph Lundgren who can really bring the action given the right project. His latest Altitude teams him up with Denise Richards and Chuck Liddel, but does it offer up any great action or will it fail to take off?
Altitude follows FBI agent Gretchen Blair who is on a flight to Washington D.C. when the man seated beside her makes an unusual offer. He explains that the plane they're on is about to be hijacked, and promises to pay her seventy-five million dollars if she can get him safely back on the ground. When a gang of professional thieves takes control of the plane, she realizes he isn't joking. Soon Gretchen finds herself caught in the middle of an elaborate mid-air heist, fighting to save the passengers while the thieves tear the plane apart, searching for the stolen loot hidden somewhere on board. I will admit I didn’t expect all that much going into this film so tried to keep my expectations low, but I was still pretty let down. I know with these types of action movies they are typically pretty generic so I know what I am getting into, but this one completely missed the mark. The first real issue is it being an action movie with Denise Richards in the lead. To be fair they do not promote it any other way as she gets top billing, but she just doesn’t work all that well in the role.
The character is pretty generic so it is one that could have been played by anyone and it would likely not help it all that much either way. MMA star Chuck Liddell has little to do here with him pretty much just being a grunt for most of the film and getting only one real fight scene that was pretty forgettable and a waste of his skills. The one shining point here should have been Lundgren and while he offers up his usual swagger he is given very little to do spending a good chunk of the film piloting the plane and little else. I always respect actors that don’t feel the need to lead the charge or do all the heavy lifting, but it is disappointing when the role they have gave them little to nothing to do at all.
This is one of those straight to home entertainment releases that will no doubt find an audience with fans of these films, but overall it really doesn’t do much for the genre. There is plenty of generic action and cheesy one liners like you might expect, but nothing you haven’t seen a thousand times before but way better.