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Absolute Aggression

Absolute Aggression (1996) Movie Poster
  •  USA  •    •    •  Directed by: J. Christian Ingvordsen.  •  Starring: Robert Davi, Kayle Watson, Terry Anderson, J. Christian Ingvordsen, Kelly Gleeson, Steve Tartalia, Cheryl Clifford, Scooter McCrae, Glenn Schuld, Matthew M. Howe, Ronnie Kerr, Craig Reid, Amy Lynn Baxter.  •  Music by: Darren Solomon.
      In the year 2011, the prison system is run by the private sector. Business tycoon R.D. Crowley has created a Virtual Reality prison. The prisoner's bodies are locked in suspended animation while their mind traverses the lethal labyrinth of games Crowley has designed for them. Crowley allows wealthy sportsmen to participate, for a price, in deadly VR combat with the prisoners.

Review:

Image from: Absolute Aggression (1996)
Image from: Absolute Aggression (1996)
Image from: Absolute Aggression (1996)
Image from: Absolute Aggression (1996)
Image from: Absolute Aggression (1996)
Image from: Absolute Aggression (1996)
Image from: Absolute Aggression (1996)
Image from: Absolute Aggression (1996)
Image from: Absolute Aggression (1996)
Image from: Absolute Aggression (1996)
Image from: Absolute Aggression (1996)
Image from: Absolute Aggression (1996)
Image from: Absolute Aggression (1996)
Image from: Absolute Aggression (1996)
In his book "Film is Hell" Matt Howe who shot this and many other bad films for Sultan Films claims that this film is slightly better than the worst movie ever, Air Boss. Of course I had to decide for myself.

This film does have somewhat higher production values than Air Boss. Robert Davi seemed to have enjoyed the R.D. Crowley character, probably because he just had to sit around saying evil dialog and smoking a cigar and not doing much. He was entertaining to watch in the small doses we're given. Kayle Watson is given a good role meaning his dialog is all small words and short sentences which he can handle. J. Christian Ingvordsen (writer, director, etc.) who plays the evil German Heinz Dietrich is obviously copying Robert Shaw's performance in The Battle of the Bulge -- the squinting mannerisms and overdone German accent is completely identical, so at least he knew where to steal. Absolute Aggression also has a more linear plot than Air Boss which appeared to be (but weren't) three television episodes stuck together.

Unfortunately this plot is a blatant and shameless formula for collecting completely random footage as "virtual reality" scenes with reused locations, sets, costumes and even footage from other Sultan productions. The action scenes are disoriented with swords flying in random directions, guns shooting in random directions, and little to clue the audience into what's supposed to be happening. These scenes go on forever and could have been exciting if they had been choreographed properly. They're nothing more than a bunch of guys with fake weapons and no idea how to use them. And meanwhile there are actual stories happening in the plot which could have been interesting if a few more minutes had been given to them.

Matt Howe also outdid himself in the photography with his overuse of Dutch tilts. Far too many scenes are shot with the camera needlessly tilted. I'm guessing that Howe thought this would be a sign of good planning (you can't cut to another scene tilted in the same direction) but it quickly became a distraction instead of adding tension. It's not Howe's fault that Battlefield Earth would make the Dutch tilt a cinematic joke a few years later.

I would have to put Air Boss about a half point higher than Absolute Aggression. Both are shamelessly padded but Air Boss's episodic formula bothered me less than the long terrible action scenes in Absolute Aggression. I also had some understanding of the characters in Air Boss while Absolute Aggression had little character conflict other than that between Dietrich and Crowley.


Review by Scott W. Larson from the Internet Movie Database.