Once again it’s a day for absolutely bonkers pairings, thanks to “One In The Chamber”, a copy of which our friends at Anchor Bay sent out for us to review. This time it’s the unlikely combination of Dolph Lundgren and Cuba Gooding Jr., but will this pairing be chocolate and peanut butter, or oil and water?
“One In The Chamber” follows Ray Carver, assassin extraordinaire, who’s just come off a rather rare failed mission. He was set to kill an Eastern European crime boss in the midst of a massacre, but his unexpected failure has two significant and far-reaching effects. Not only does it trigger a mob war between the various factions peripherally involved in the killing, it also prompts the Eastern Europeans to send the greatest–and most insane–killing machine known to the former Soviet Union since, well, probably since Stalin himself. Known only as “The Wolf”, he’s on his way to take down Ray Carver, and it’s going to be an all-out battle royale between one of the world’s finest assassins and a homicidal lunatic.
That’s actually one of my favorite tropes. I’m not sure if the folks out at TVTropes ever gave it a name–call it the “Bigger Bad” if you will–but I love seeing plotlines when one kind of villain ends up going against something a lot worse than itself. It happens, every so often, but it’s really interesting to see a thief or an assassin or what have you discover that, no matter how skilled they think they are, or how brutal they believe themselves to be, there’s often something much worse out there, waiting.
It’s especially interesting that, in this case, Ray Carver isn’t just out killing people, he’s out trying to find a note of redemption for one particular killing, one that’s brought him much closer to the daughter of one of his former targets. This lends a little extra confusion to the plot, but that muddying of the waters makes for a bit of suspense thrown into things.
Additionally, there’s plenty of back and forth going on here to keep things interesting. Ray doesn’t have a clear edge here, nor does The Wolf. Both go back and forth, performing various tasks as part of their employ and occasionally butting heads. It’s that combination of events that’s especially fun to watch, and for those who like it heavy on the violence, well, you’ll get all the gunplay you could want and more. Just to top things off, Dolph Lundgren actually has an impressive comedic side to him. A bit dark, yes, but it’s almost like his role as the priest / assassin back in Johnny Mnemonic.
A few laughs, a lot of gunplay, and some good old fashioned suspense make “One In The Chamber” one that’s well worth watching. Definitely get your hands on this one if you get a chance after this one hits stores August 21.