The Vault

Dir: Ric Moxley
Star: Laci Szabo, Bas Rutten, Brynn Lucas, G. Anthony Joseph

It'd be easy to write this off as a poor man's Die Hard in a museum: Laci Szabo isn't Bruce Willis, and Bas Rutten isn't Alan Rickman. However, as usual with Die Hard clones, there's still some entertainment to be had. Here, a museum trip for masterthief Kennedy (Szabo) and daughter Milla (Lucas) is rudely interrupted by Rutten's gang of thieves, who want a gem from the vault; Milla ends up in there too, with oxygen running out. It's up to Kennedy to...oh, I'm sure you need no more story than that. I'm surprised the script here took four writers; some acknowledgement of the inspiration would have been nice, especially with a hero who crawls in air-ducts...

Still, some of this works. Szabo isn't your typical hero, being 40-ish and not classically handsome, while the editing gives a comic-book feel. However, when they eventually strike out on their own, this goes off the rails badly; on multiple occasions, someone with a gun drops it to engage in fisticuffs with an unarmed opponent. And these are supposedly professionals? Significantly, Szabo is best known as a knife designer and Rutten as a Pancrase/UFC fighter, while Joseph, who plays the cop outside, is also the producer. Once suspects auditions were thus not part of the process, though Szabo and Rutten have potential and, for obvious reasons, the fights aren't bad. [I have Rutten's 1993 Japanese debut on laserdisc; he KO'd his opponent in 43 seconds] In the end though, it hits the inevitable problem faced by all Die Hard wannabes: the original did it best, and everything since is just a pale imitation.

[This film will be released on February 22nd in the US. For more information, visit MTI's website.]

January 2005

Still, it's not his 'vault'...
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