This DVD is offered as part of MGM’s “Limited Edition Collection,” which is available from select online retailers and manufactured only when the DVD is ordered. The DVD features a simple menu with no menu for chapters or scenes. Manufacture-On-Demand (MOD) DVDs are made to play in DVD playback units only and may not play in DVD recorders or PC drives. This DVD did not play in our laptop DVD drive but did play in our Toshiba DVD recorder.
RELEASE DATE: September 29, 2011
RUNNING TIME: 91 minutes
ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1
AUDIO: Dolby Digital 2.0
SPECIAL FEATURES: Theatrical trailer
A Houston cop (Dolph Lundgren) discovers an alien is killing people with drugs and a lethal disc. A by-the-book FBI agent (Brian Benben) joins him on the hunt.
Directed by: Craig Baxley
This forgotten 1980s gem is probably better remembered under its original title, I Come in Peace. With Dolph Lundgren in the title role, you might imagine this film is forgotten for a good reason. Actually, it is not a bad little film, and Drago makes an excellent hero battling – wait for it – aliens with mullets. They are here to kill folks with heroin just to steal endorphines from their bodies.
Sure, it sounds absurd, but Dark Angel manages to work somehow, all while creating a great Lethal Weapon vibe. Lundgren is more accessible here than he was in Rocky IV or some of his other films of the time, which is good, because this movie is filled with every cliche from cop-buddy movies you can think of. Brian Benben does his best to give the movie a fresh twist, but you must leave that to the alien drug dealer out killing folks with heroin. He makes it a point to say “I Come in Peace” every time he is on screen, and you just know they are setting us up for a classic Lundgren catchphrase once the two meet. Indeed, his response to the phrase is both epic and hilarious, and just adds to the cheesy fun dripping from this picture.
Sure, there’s plenty of bad and goofy in this picture. Aliens shouldn’t have CDs as their kill weapon. The acting can be bad most of the time. There is too much big hair for one film. The script can be too by-the-numbers, but if you love 1980s era cop buddy pictures, this one manages to entertain at every turn. Sure, it isn’t Lethal Weapon or one of the classic films of the time, but if you have fun, isn’t that what matters?
VIDEO AND AUDIO
The video transfer used here is fairly clean, with little debris, and shows some good color reproduction. However, the image tends to lack the sharpness one would expect. The lack of detail hurts the overall image. Even though it had a modest budget, the film is shot to look like a much bigger production, so it is disappointing that the image isn’t better. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0, and it sounds good enough, providing enough BOOM during explosions while giving the dialogue prominence when necessary.
A theatrical trailer is included, which is great to watch, if only to see Dolph’s epic catchphrase.
THE BOTTOM LINE: BUY IT OR REDBOX IT?
OVERALL GRADE: B-
Dark Angel is an under-rated piece of movie cheese that is fun to watch, if you are in the right frame of mind. It is far from perfect, but if you need a good popcorn and soda pop movie on a late night or Saturday afternoon, here you go. I remember this film when it came out back in the day, but never saw it. I’m glad I finally git the chance to discover it thanks to a long-overdue DVD release. Fans of 1980s action films will definitely want to pick this up.
Dark Angel is now available on Manufacture-On-Demnd DVD from MGM/Fox Home Entertainment through authorized online retailers.