STARRING: Dolph Lundgren

DIRECTED BY: Giorgio Serafini

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: “This action-thriller stars Dolph Lundgren (The Expendables franchise) as a troubled warrior who returns home to solve the mystery of his family’s murder — and punish those he finds guilty.”

THE REVIEW: In the realm of action cinema, Dolph Lundgren is still a force to be reckoned with. The star burst onto the scene in 1984’s Rocky IV and then in Universal Soldier with JCVD but since then, he has been pretty much a mainstay in the direct to video market. Now this isn’t a bad thing and I have been a fan of Lundgren’s ever since his imposing turn as the iconic Ivan Drago all those years ago. Dolph’s films are of the hit or miss variety and even when they fail to hit the bullseye, he still elevates a flick with his imposing presence.

With this we have his latest, titled The Tracker, and while the poster and trailer would leave you to believe that this is your usual revenge thriller, you’d be wrong as this film is quite slow and methodical. Lundgren plays Aiden Hakansson who is a family man who finds his life take a tragic turn when his wife and daughter are kidnapped while they are on vacation in Southern Italy. Things don’t go well after that and years later, he finds himself immersed in the tragedy all over again when he gets a hot lead on a new tip from an Italian detective. Unfortunately for Aiden, the cop dies and now he must carry on to find out what happened. No need to worry folks because this is Dolph Lundgren and he’ll do just fine.

No, of course, Lundgren has a past and a special set of skills because this is at its core a revenge thriller, so just like Liam Neeson In The Taken series, he uses his said special skills as a tracker and sniper to lay waste to the bad guys when the time comes. The only problem is, Neeson did it with a lot more flair and gusto. Dolph gets to share some pretty meaningful insight too such as in the beginning he tells us the difference between a Hunter and a Tracker in which “a hunter kills its prey, the Tracker understands it.” Now that’s some Zen stuff right there.

Action fans and Dolph fans in particular will delight in the violence and mayhem on stage here but at the same time we have seen it before. The action serves its purpose but when you compare it to other recent action films like Triple Threat this movie really pales in comparison. Don’t get me wrong, Dolph is a specialist in creating mayhem on screen and has had a long and distinguished career in doing it. The film is a slow burn for the first part and it takes a while to get going and when it does, it isn’t all that memorable.

Director Giorgio Serafini helms with a paint by numbers feel with the material at hand and this is the type of film that might entertain on a Saturday night when all other options have been exhausted. The action does come but it does take some time to get moving and it is low key to say the least. We have some standard fights and shootouts but again, it leaves the audience wanting more.

Aside from Dolph, the film stars mostly actors that you have never heard of and with this bring an Italian/ American co-production, most of the cast are native to that wonderful part of the world. They all do a good job with the material at hand and while this isn’t Oscar material, the performances all serve their purpose.

Recently, Lundgren has had a resurgence as he has appeared back on the big screen in the hit films Aquaman and then in Creed II reprising his Drago role but with The Tracker, Lundgren takes a step backwards. Make no mistake, the action icon is the best part of this film and makes a mountain out of a mole hill but I find it hard to see it getting a huge audience. Dolph fans will certainly partake in it as I did but this is for the niche audience. Again not a bad thing but here’s hoping Lundgren has more high-octane gas in his tank in the future for a few more killer flicks and one thing is for certain, this fan will always be there to watch.

VERDICT: 2.5 Out Of 5 Stars. For Dolph Lundgren Fans Only.

The Tracker is now playing in select cinemas, Digital and VOD