This weeks rut dog sees Stone Cold Steve Austin, formally WWF Wrestler; turn his sights to acting, if you can call it that. He plays US boarder patrol agent Jim Rhodes in what can only be described as the antithesis of B-movie, straight to DVD action trash. If you haven’t seen a film with Steve Austin in yet but you love a classic doggy, this movie this will be right up there as one of the worst or best rut dogs you will have seen for a long time, depending on which way you look at it. Even if you don’t like films like this it has to be seen to be believed and if nothing else it is a master class in how filmmaking should not be done. Then again how would we know what is good if we had nothing bad to compare it to?
Unsurprisingly the plot is rather generic and very thin. Stone Cold is a divorced single dad struggling to bring up his rebellious teenage daughter who for some reason he just cant seem to find common ground with. Oh yeah and he is grieving the death of his partner who was killed in a raid that went wrong because they decided to go in straight away, instead of waiting 5 minutes for backup to arrive. Obviously Stone Cold ultimately blames himself for this and it weighs heavy on his conscience. This I suppose is an attempt to make Jim Rhodes a more three dimensional character, which of course it doesn’t.
On a hunting trip / an attempt to bond with his daughter, they stumble across a group of fugitives on the run from the law who take them hostage and force Stone Cold to use his master tracking skills to make their way through the wilderness. You can probably guess the rest of the story from here, Stone Cold vows to get his daughter out of harms way taking the bad guys out one at a time, in a series of ludicrous ways, escalating each time with the climactic moment coming in the form of Stone Cold pulling a wheelie on a quad bike, driving it into the bad guy, pinning him against a wall and then proceeding to shoot said quad bike with a flair to blow it up, before this uttering the immortal line “When I hunt, I hunt to kill”.
Gladiator this isn’t, but watching Stone Cold bumble around for 90 minutes making the same confused expression to convey every emotion and fight like a massive drunk child is strangely entertaining. One of my personal highlights comes at the moment where Stone Cold falls down a ravine, which should be rewound and re-watched a few times for full hilarious effect.
Lets face it, no one wants much of a story line from a rut dog anyway, that would get in the way of the terrible acting, atrocious one liners and questionable action, three of the things this film has in abundance. The only thing missing is a myriad of flashbacks, usually rife in rut dogs; of which there are still a few to be seen here. If you’re in the right mind set for this one you wont be disappointed by its outrageous disregard for anything good. Stone Cold has definitely become one of my top rutdogs and if you like / loathe this one you should definitely check out ‘The Stranger’ which is perhaps more ludicrous and even worse in some respects. Check out the trailer for Hunt To Kill below.