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Movie Reviews

Dolph Lundgren on his new movie ‘Castle Falls’

Standard action fare.

Castle Falls is the first film to be directed by star Dolph Lundgren in over a decade. The action movie is straight and to the point. Castle Falls Hospital is about to be demolished. Unbeknownst to most, a gang leader stashed millions of dollars of cash there before being sent to prison. This leads to a frantic scramble where lives along with a whole lot of money hang in the balance.

For all the action, the story tries to focus on its characters. “I was looking for a small movie (that was) character driven,” Lundgren told AIPT. There is an interesting dynamic between Lundgren’s Richard Ericson and co-star Scott Adkins (Mike Wade). Ericson almost plays a mentor role which is a neat position to see Lundgren in. This does not mean that Richard is any less imposing, however.

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It also brings a new angle to Castle Falls. Richard is not some grizzled old man trying to help out young upstart Wade. He has a personal reason for wanting to get the money while Wade sees the cash as a way out of his hard luck life. His decisions are based around what is going on in his life, but they are also driven more by emotion.

One of the highlights of Castle Falls is the chemistry between Lundgren and Adkins. “There was a lot of trust and interchange of emotions,” said Lundgren. “You get close that way. A lot of it was unspoken. We get along well and it came across on-screen.”

Unfortunately, this same characterization does not extend to the villains. They are pretty much cookie cutter bad guys. Castle Falls never tries to makes them out to be more than crazy, evil, dumb, or a combination. It ends up being silly at times. Castle Falls is more than just a bunch of people trying to kill each other over millions of dollars. Richard’s daughter Emily plays an important role. In a case of art imitating life, the character is played by Lundgren’s real-life daughter Ida. 

“It was a lot of fun and satisfying,” Lundgren said of working with his daughter. “She was prepared and played (her part) well. She is a good performer; it is just a matter of if she can handle the other side of show business. I want to help her. Everyone in this business can use a little help. I had it when I got started.”

For better and worse, Castle Falls ends up being standard action movie fare. There are no shades of grey, making it easy to get behind the heroes. It is always fun to see an adventures movie where the lines are clearly defined. The writing does not always live up to the action, but it does enough to keep things interesting.

Castle Falls comes to theaters and on demand and digital December 3

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