By: Jacob Bloodee Jacob Babcock
Windfall was a made for television movie released in 2003 (also seen listed as 2001 and 2002 so who knows) and follows thieves Ace (Casper Van Dien) and Scratch (Robert Englund) whose robbery of a prominent casino goes awry but they end up working as security advisors to the owner (Ray Wise) where they uncover a betrayal in the business as a strong hurricane descends upon the area.
Here I am delving into more Van Dien DTV fare and I gotta say this was a pretty enjoyable romp, I have no regrets. Van Dien (sporting dyed black hair) is his usual self, not the greatest actor in the world but there is something about him that is easily likable and easy to root for. He possesses a natural quality that I believe should have taken his career further. He handles both the charm, wit and physicality of his character well.
Freddy Krueger himself Robert Englund co-stars in a rare good guy role, he is underused screen time wise but I liked his dynamic with Van Dien. Englund is a legend! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him at a horror con twice and he is a great and passionate person. Seeing him in this definitely helped with my initial interest and though he is underused for what a talented SOB he is, he isn’t wasted either.
Gregg Henry is on main baddie duties and he chews the scenery in a good way, being a believable and energetic opposition with a grudge against Ace. Ray Wise too is a good presence to have and his character is fairly well rounded. I’d hate to neglect to mention Jeff Kober in a decent coworker/henchmen role as well. Libby Hudson Lydecker is believable being involved with the business too as well as a love interest for Ace and a daughter figure for Wise’s character.
There are these two meteorologist characters that the film keeps cutting back to basically to give us exposition on the worsening oncoming hurricane and storm conditions. It didn’t feel necessary at all, their scenes are luckily brief but are sprinkled throughout.
Although a little clunky, the action and fights are solid enough and work within the confines of the film. I really do wanna praise a couple of the car chases as well as one via a boat. Chase sequences are a lost art in movies so it was nice to see some time spent on them here. There’s the occasional CG background but when the storm finally hits I appreciated some practical effects at work, it really felt like it was getting terrible when the characters were outside.
Overall despite expected issues due to budget I found it to be a fun ride and one of Van Dien’s best in the years that followed Starship Troopers.