I will never forget the joys of first watching Lundgren as one of my all-time childhood gods - He-Man - in Gary Goddard's 1987 toyline adaptation Masters of the Universe. There was my cartoon hero in full flesh-and-blood glory, and Dolph was immense: 6 foot 5 inches of beautiful blond hair, greased torso and mountainous biceps (yes, serious man-crush here)! Here was a living, breathing deity in my young eyes. I had to wait a few years before I could enjoy the rest of Dolph's cinematic adventures as they would prove to be considerably higher in blood-letting and bone-snapping mayhem. But thanks to my trusted VHS player and some liberal-minded relations, I became a staunch defender in Camp Lundgren. This is a man with an IQ close to 160, won a Fulbright Scholarship to M.I.T. and holds a 3rd dan black belt in Kyokushin Karate. A former male model and bouncer who has portrayed everything from the aforementioned superhuman from Eternia, a KGB killing machine with a conscience (Red Scorpion), A Marvel vigilante (The Punisher), a re-animated Vietnam vet super-soldier (Universal Soldier, alongside Van Damme) and a maniacal street-preacher turned deranged hitman (Johnny Mnemonic). These days, he has taken on a jack-of-all-trades approach by taking on the directing, writing and producing roles with every new movie that is released. There is no doubt in my mind that Dolph Lundgren deserves a full re-appraisal of his work, particularly when his films could get onto the cinema screens - and I have selected two of my favourites that showcase the man from Stockholm at his ass-kicking best!
Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991)
"Hell sucked - We are back!"
Tagline: One's a warrior... One's a wise guy... They're two L.A. cops going after a gang of drug lords. Feet First.
Plot: American cop raised in Japan Chris Kenner teams up with motormouth new partner Johnny Murata to take down the dreaded Yakuza as they plot to take control of the drugs trade. For Kenner, the battle becomes personal as he discovers the Oyabun is none other than the man who murdered his parents...
END CREDITS POWER BALLAD: None
(Seriously disappointing, considering that David Michael Frank's score that plays over the credits is ripe for some vocal emoting - someone get Peter Cetera on the line!)
Dark Angel / I Come in Peace (1990)
"Fuck you, Space-man!"
Tagline: He came in search of a drug so rare it could only be found in one place... Man.
Plot: American cop Jack Caine teams up with by-the-book FBI agent Larry Smith to take down a gang of white collar drug lords, only to discover that an alien warrior has landed on Earth to harvest a drug from the brains of humans for consumption on his own planet. For Caine, the battle becomes personal when his partner is murdered...
END CREDITS POWER BALLAD: Touch Me Tonight (Shooting Star)
(No this is more like it! A power ballad that has nothing to do with the film - perfection!)