Movie Watch: Altitude

Continuing our desire to highlight upcoming independent and foreign films we think you should be aware of, we take a look at the new film from a legendary action star of the 80s.

For the most part, this continuing column will focus on product that will be of a certain expected kind of quality. But, damnit, that expectation of quality goes out the window when we’re talking about the return of Hans “Dolph” Lundgren to the big screen. (Although, unless you’re lucky enough to live in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia or Phoenix, you’ll probably have to opt for the smaller screen of your home entertainment system.)

For those of you reading this who didn’t grow up in the 1980s, Dolph Lundgren is fucking legendary. From his debut as a low-level henchmen in the 1985 Bond flick “A View to a Kill” (you know, the one where Tanya Roberts can’t seem to notice there’s A FUCKING BLIMP coming after her) and ascent to the the top of movie bad-asses with his turn as Russian boxing machine Ivan Drago in “Rocky IV” to his turn of He-Man in the disastrous 1987 live-action version of “Masters of the Universe” and his team-up with fellow European action star Jean-Claude Van Damme in Roland Emmerich’s redonkulous 1992 film “Universal Soldier,” Dolph Lundgren was always, as the kinds would say back then, THE MAN! Lundgren is so bad-ass, he was the first guy to play The Punisher, Frank Castle, in the movies, and is still kind of the template for which other Frank Castles get measured by, even if the movie itself was lousy. And now, with his roles in the “Expendables” movie series, his cameo in the Coen Brothers’ “Hail Caesar!”, his recurring role on TV’s “Arrow,” and now his featured role in “Altitude,” it seems we may be in the middle of the Dolph Lundgren renaissance we never knew we needed.

Glory be!

Yet, Dolph (and yes, you get to use the singular first name only with him, like we do with Madonna or Beyonce) is not the star of Lionsgate’s “Altitude.” That “honor” goes to Denise Richards, so you know going in exactly what you’re getting. And in case you weren’t sure of EXACTLY what you’re getting here, we also have former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Chuck “The Iceman” Lidell as one of Lundgren’s low-level henchmen. And if you still weren’t 100% certain of EXACTLY what you’re getting here, here’s the trailer…

Gretchen Blair (Denise Richards) is a headstrong FBI agent who goes rogue on a hostage negotiation and is sent packing to a desk job back in DC. By a stroke of luck, she’s upgraded to business class on her flight – but as soon as the plane takes off, her seatmate (Kirk Barker) offers her millions of dollars if she can get him off the plane alive. As his ex-partners (Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Liddell and “Fraser” daughter Greer Grammer) stage a brutal hijacking, Gretchen finds herself in the fight of her life – choosing sides between two factions of a criminal gang and trying to keep the plane from going down.

And if you still needed one more reason to see this, the film’s also got Jonathan Lipnicki! You know, the little kid from “Jerry Maguire.” You loved that little kid, but he’s not so little anymore. He’s freakin’ JACKED now, yo!

So maybe check this out some day. Because, you know, every once in a while, it’s fun to watch a movie that promises nothing more than a rollicking goofy time.