On the one hand, this is a supremely silly sci-fi/action hybrid that’s such a B-movie it’s hard to believe it was made by a major studio and sent to cinemas. On the other hand, it’s just so much damn fun that you don’t even care how ridiculous it all initially seems. Dolph Lundgren is perfectly cast as a monosyllabic supercop-type who don’t need no brains when he’s got two beefy arms to do the thinking for him, and to Lundgren’s credit, he’s able to wander through the movie with a nudge and a wink towards the audience that’s charmingly disarming. The movie’s story of an intergalactic drug war between Lundgren’s lawman and a murderous alien on a rampage through Los Angeles on Christmas Eve actually has a lot to say about the various forces that prey on the socially disenfranchised without consequence (for instance, note how many of the alien’s victims are either working class or minorities, sometimes both at once), and that’s one of the things that makes B-movies like this one so thrilling sometimes: Many of them (like “Uncle Sam” and “It’s Alive”) are gleefully disreputable and deliriously lurid so they satisfy a certain bloodlust in their core audience but also manage to sneak in a variety of socially progressive ethos without getting bogged down in soapbox politicizing.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)