Final Voyage (2000)

Starring Dylan Walsh, Ice T, Erika Eleniak, Claudia Christian, Rick Ducommun, Heidi Schanz, John Koyama, Jonathan Fuller, Stephen Macht, Michael Bailey Smith, Thom Adcox-Hernandez, Beau Billingslea

Directed by Jim Wynorski

Expectations: High after Stealth Fighter.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:


Final Voyage is the perfect example of a great movie on paper. A Titanic-sized boat filled to the brim with wealthy socialites and a vault full of their unspecified riches. Ice T leading a crack team of thieves onto the boat to steal said riches. A John McClane-esque character guarding former Playboy Playmate Erika Eleniak of Under Siege fame. And Jim Wynorski, director of the incredibly awesome Chopping Mall and last week’s Stealth Fighter. With these elements at its disposal, Final Voyage should be something to see, and it was these very reasons that swayed me to include it over other Ice T films. Unfortunately, it’s kinda middle of the road, mostly composed of poor action and boring dialogue.

Regardless of all the missed potential here, Final Voyage is still pretty enjoyable as a B-Movie thanks to our lead villains Claudia Christian and Ice T. Christian does a great job with the material, making her scenes pop a little more than the rest, while Ice directs the show for most of the movie from the bridge, but you know what that means… he’s not really involved in the action. What. The. FUUUUCK. This is a supreme disappointment for me, especially coming off of Surviving the Game where it was all Ice T icing dudes all the time. Claudia Christian (of Babylon 5 fame) is Ice’s right hand, so she spends most of the movie doing the thug shit that I’d rather see Ice do. I’d also rather see Ice in the John McClane hero role, taking down confident crooks with his self-assured swagger. Oh well, like Stealth Fighter before it, Ice gets a nice villain monologue that somewhat makes up for my disappointment. But don’t get too excited, it’s not nearly on the same level as the previous one, even if a dope slow jam starts playing right as he starts the monologue. The only logical reason for this to happen would be if one of his thugs was carrying around a boombox for this very occasion, and even though I didn’t see that guy, I’m going to assume that’s what happened.

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Arena (1989)

Starring Paul Satterfield, Hamilton Camp, Claudia Christian, Marc Alaimo, Shari Shattuck, Armin Shimerman, Brett Porter, Charles Tabansi, Michael Deak, Jack Carter, William Butler, Grady Clarkson, Dave Thompson, Ken Clark, Diana Rose

Directed by Peter Manoogian

Expectations: Pretty high. Look at that poster!

On the general scale:
twohalfstar

On the B-Movie scale:
threehalfstar


Like a sci-fi fan’s teenage wet dream, Arena successfully combines two of the universe’s most satisfying things, boxing and aliens. Add in a healthy dose of said aliens getting repeatedly punched and kicked in their foam latex faces and we’ve got ourselves a ridiculously fun slice of 1980s high-brow cinema. I can’t ask for much more than that!

Steve Armstrong just isn’t cut out to be a short order cook, but when an alien causes some trouble in the restaurant where he works, Armstrong gives him the old one-two and then throws him out through the front window. In the grand tradition of tough guy movies, he loses his job and proves just how badass he is in one fell swoop. His co-worker, a four-armed dude named Shorty, takes Armstrong in till he can get back on his feet but others have had their interest piqued by Armstrong’s supreme fighting skill.

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