The Defender


The Defender

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,012
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Movie Info

Rocky IV villain and B-movie leading-man Dolph Lundgren takes his first stab behind the camera with this 2004 action flick. Lundgren is Lace Rockford, an expert security agent heading up a team tasked with protecting the United States' National Security Advisor. When the most diabolic terrorist leader in the world kidnaps the NSA head, it's up to Rockford and company to get her back before it's too late. The Defender also stars talk-show host Jerry Springer as the President of the United States.

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Critic Reviews for The Defender

There are no critic reviews yet for The Defender. Keep checking Rotten Tomatoes for updates!

Audience Reviews for The Defender

  • Sep 28, 2010
    More Dolph action and this time, amazingly!, its a good 'Die Hard' mixed with 'Aliens' type film. A special forces team led by Dolph are double crossed whilst protecting a secret meeting by mercs hell bent on ending thus said meeting. The resulting action is actually really good as Dolph's team is killed off one by one as they try to fend off the baddie mercs and get the secret meeting members to safety. A lot of decent gun fighting, government conspiracies, a few twists and some reasonable acting make this pretty good. Simply replace the baddie mercs with aliens and you would have 'Aliens' whilst the whole thing could be 'Die Hard' in a hotel...almost hehe. Worth a look if you;re a firm Dolph fanatic for sure.
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • Aug 29, 2009
    A solid directional debut by Dolph Lundgren, he keeps his action hero status in tact with a stylsih and effective attack in directing. A slick, stylish, cool and pulse-pounding action-packed thriller. A smart, excitng, fast-moving and thrilling film. It's packed with lots of great explosive action and gripping suspense. It surprisingly keeps you on the edge of your seat till the end. Even thow there is a lack of character development, the actors behaviour and attitude toward eachother is compelling and enjoyable.
    Al S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 18, 2009
    <i>You messed with the wrong country and you fucked the wrong President!</i> <p> In an era of political unrest and global chaos, it's a small comfort - but a comfort nonetheless - that superstar Dolph Lundgren is still around to keep the world safe. For <i>The Defender</i>, Lundgren not only stars but also directs... And you know what? Despite the odds stacked against him, this flick doesn't suck, nor does Dolph's surprisingly decent direction. Certainly, <i>The Defender</i> is brainless, unrealistic and riddled with clichés...but it doesn't suck. In fact, this is an endlessly entertaining, straightforward shoot-'em-up action movie. It's overflowing with violence, shootouts and blood; reminding its target audience as to why we loved the brainless action films of the 1980s. Perhaps it comes as no shock that Lundgren's directorial debut is a low-budget direct-to-DVD affair, but - even for a picture inhabiting the suicidal DTD realm - <i>The Defender</i> looks surprisingly self-assured. With its top-notch action sequences and satisfactory acting, Lundgren's first effort as a director has a lot going for it. But alas, it's ultimately hamstrung by preposterous plotting. <p> As for the storyline: it's a tense time for the United States and its allies as they wage the War on Terror. The President of the United States (played by Jerry Springer...yes, <b>that</b> Jerry Springer is the President) has launched a new Peace Initiative. Unbeknownst to the general public, the National Security Advisor (Lee-Johnson) is making a secret trip to Romania to negotiate a peace agreement. To ensure this meeting runs smoothly, Gulf War veteran Lance Rockford (Ludgren) is employed as head of security, leading a few disposable agents. As the enigmatic meeting plays out, a group of armed militants attack Rockford and his team. The assault is relentless and never-ending (a little reminiscent of <i>Assault on Precinct 13</i>, actually), putting Rockford to the test as he works to protect both himself and the National Security Advisor. <p> Sidney J. Furie (the man behind 2003's <i>Detention</i>) was originally attached to direct <i>The Defender</i>, but fell ill during the pre-production period. Since Dolph Lundgren had worked closely with Furie beforehand (as well as a handful of other directors, ranging from John Woo to Roland Emmerich), and because the actor had worked with the screenwriter during development, the producers asked Dolph to step up and direct the picture. A few too many gimmicky shots and too much slow motion notwithstanding, Dolph has proved an excellent director with his first effort. <i>The Defender</i> is easily one of the most action-saturated shoot-'em-up action flicks of late. It's also leaps and bounds above anything Van Damme or Steven Seagal has featured in recently. After about twenty minutes of admittedly slow exposition, the flick goes balls-to-the-wall. Once the enemies fire their first shot, respite is infrequent as the movie propels through action sequence after action sequence. <p> This is hard R material as well. Massive kudos to Dolph for being unafraid to craft gritty, brutal, <i>very</i> violent shootouts! Bullets hit their targets, blood flows in torrents, necks are snapped and squibs detonate like crazy. The final hour is more or less an extended action sequence, and the action is simply <i>sublime</i>. Maxime Alexandre's wonderfully crisp and intense cinematography places a viewer in the action. There's also tight editing and great pacing as the kinetic energy barely lulls. The sound effects are also outstanding; easily one of the flick's biggest assets. However, one downfall is the dreadful music courtesy of Adam Nordén. The music reminds the audience they are watching a DTD affair. It's occasionally tense but at other times the music is grating for the ears. <p> Bolstering the exhilarating on-screen happenings is an unfortunately (yet quite unsurprisingly) trite story. Lots of questions go unanswered in the first hour; pretty much leaver a viewer in the dark. We have no idea what the meeting is for and who the National Security Advisor is meeting. For the first hour, a viewer can't help but be riveted as they await all the answers. However, when the revelations are finally unveiled they almost entirely nullify the prior plot developments. The whole point of the operation is absurd and on the verge of anticlimactic.<br> There are also a few too many overly dramatic moments scattered throughout the 90-minute duration. In addition, the film doesn't allow an audience to become attached to the characters. The protagonist is uninteresting and we simply don't care about him, nor do we care when a minor character is killed. <i>The Defender</i> is ultimately an action story that's solid on the action, but unrewarding on the story. <p> Cast-wise, things are fairly standard. Dolph Lundgren places forth a solid performance, although the part never calls for any overwhelming acting skills. Dolph enjoys wading through the scenarios, barking commands ("<i>Open fire!</i>" for instance) and saying clichéd things. Of course, in this particular production Dolph isn't the only big star. Jerry Springer stars as the President of the United States. Mercifully, Jerry is given less than 10 minutes of screen time (still enough to garner second billing, though). Surprisingly, Jerry makes for a moderately convincing presidential figure, although he hardly seems like a popular candidate. There's also Caroline Lee-Johnson as the National Security Advisor. Not a bad actress per se, but nothing special.<br> The rest of the cast are pretty much just the constituents of Dolph's team. Shakara Ledard, Thomas Lockyer, Gerald Kyd, Ian Porter, Howard Antony, etc. As a team they share adequate chemistry, exchanging occasionally witty banter. <p> As a shoot-'em-up actioner, <i>The Defender</i> is an enjoyable time waster. While nothing groundbreaking for action cinema, Dolph's first directorial outing is a success! If the plotting was a little less absurd and more substance was present, I'd be recommending this film to no end. As it stands, though, <i>The Defender</i> contains a lot of fun mayhem with the absurdity meter shooting up to 11 (like when a sniper is shot from afar with a Beretta pistol despite being, you know, a fucking <i>sniper</i>). It's painful to admit, but I really enjoyed this film despite its shortcomings. As long as Dolph continues to direct new movies I'll continue to watch them. <p> It was truly great to witness Dolph Lundgren and Jerry Springer featuring in a movie together...up next is Steven Seagal and Dr. Phil.
    Cal ( Super Reviewer
  • Oct 07, 2007
    Directed and Produced by Dolph Lundgren..Ouch for this Movie. Dammit Dolphy Dolphy Dolphy what made you choose Jerry Springer as US president. This Movie was really hell fucking cheesy, I thought I was watching sort of rehearsel or something. WAT DA FAK?!! Even Dolph Lundgren was acting was sort of *cough*....shit... Jerry Springer was really a Joke in the Movie, I can tell you Folks that guy can Moderate a Talkshow but his acting...LMAO..Jerry Springer please keep on Moderating your Talk Show because you are good in it and leave the profis the acting DUDE!
    Lilo C Super Reviewer

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