Blast is the 1092625th rip-off of Die Hard, but who’s counting? This time the setting is an oil rig and taking up the Bruce Willis role is comedian Eddie Griffin who’s a tug boat captain here who just so happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Whoa, who saw that coming? His sidekick is Breckin Meyer as a hacker who works with the terrorists (in this case eco-environmentalists) but has an agenda of his own. At stake: the environmentalists want to detonate an EMP near the coast of California and they have his adopted son. Does this movie do its name justice and is it actually a blast?
Depends on the expectations one has. It didn’t expect much and was therefor pleasantly surprised. Somehow the flashy editing, something standard in DTV movies, and the fact that they tried to make it look like a larger movie than the budget would allow it to be, makes it also more enjoyable than it should be. There is of course shoddy CGI and the characters here walk around in a movie that resembles Die Hard a little too much. Even details from Die Hard are carefully replicated here; the Christmas season in a warm climate setting, the obligatory crawl through an air vent, the “we just pretended we were terrorists while we’re actually thieves” twist. It’s all here.
Griffin was probably chosen because of his ability to deliver one liners with a certain flair. He gets plenty of them and it’s all a bit of hit and miss. Nowadays everybody can fight well onscreen with the help of editing and rehearsed choreography so it’s no surprise that he holds up well in the fight scenes. They went to an effort to make this look good. It’s a good thing they did, because movies like No Contest have proven that without good choreography action scenes and their star are making a fool of themselves.
The supporting cast is a bit of a hit and miss also. Breckin Meyer is just so-so while Vivica A. Fox gets a nice introductory scene but is rather uninteresting the rest of the movie. In the end she’s nothing other than the Tom Baker character in Under Siege. But he wasn’t credited and pictured on the poster. Vinnie Jones plays the villain of the piece and does so in his usual style. Menacing with a lot of tough talk. He does get a couple of nice lines in the movie and suits his role pretty good. It was probably tailor made for him. He has a female henchman, a henchwoman, named Luna. She’s played by Nadine Velazquez who is mostly famous for her role of Catalina in “My Name Is Earl”. She gets to play tough and show us some fancy gym-moves. Too bad they didn’t give her more screen time and character development. Knowing her work in Earl they really have a talent here they didn’t use to the fullest extent.
Anthony Hickox is long known for his b-movies and this one is just another notch in the belt. It’s better than, say Submerged, but worse than Hellraiser III. That’s the problem with a movie like this; they’re never great but then again you don’t expect them to be. It’s not a great movie, probably not even a good one, but it did perform above my expectations.