Guardian (2001) – movie review

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Movie Review by EDF

Starring: Mario Van Peebles, James Remar, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Stacy Oversier
Director: John Terlesky

While viewing THE GUARDIAN, it is hard to ignore that while it desperately wants to be a unique action movie, it only ends up being a poor homage/rip-off of other movies.

Set in Southern Iraq, February 1991, John Kross (Mario Van Peebles) is sent to mark an Iraqi base camp for an air strike. The base is storing a new drug called Chaos that will eventually find its way onto the streets. Kross’s partner spots an American couple in the camp, an archaeologist who successfully finds the tomb of Tel-Al, an evil demon. The archaeologist’s heavily pregnant wife gives birth that night to a son. On the same night, the moon turns blood red and the Iraqi’s take it as a sign of bad luck. Fearing for their lives, the Iraqis shoot the archaeologist and their commander and through their actions accidentally free the demon. Kross is seriously wounded when the demon takes over his partner’s body. Kross spots a figure taking the newborn baby away from her mother and just as he passes out the stranger, Selene (Stacy Oversier), approaches Kross with a knife.

Twelve years later, Kross is now an L.A. cop whose wife is in a coma following a brutal attack from an unknown assailant. Kross is assigned to investigate a series of brutal murders, a side effect to anyone using the drug, Chaos. Following up a lead, Kross chases down a club owner who is high on Chaos and starts a bloody killing spree. He is eventually stopped by Selene who uses a few MATRIX-style moves that end with the club owner falling from the top of a building. Demanding answers, Selene informs Kross that he is the one to save the child and must also find the child’s mother.

What starts as a promising concept ends up as a guess-the-movie type affair. It’s hard not to like Mario Van Peebles in this and he plays his character with conviction but unfortunately for this direct to video release, the story lets the movie down. Stacy Oversier, looking cool in black, only brings up images of Carrie-Ann Moss from THE MATRIX. Some of the gun play sequences are at times shocking as innocent people are brutally shot due to the villains use of Chaos. Other than that, a bit more originality could have made this average movie into a great one.

3 out of 6 stars