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The Defender

An NSA agent (Dolph Lundgren) seeks to protect the President (Jerry Springer) from terrorists when he attends a meeting in Rumania.

Genre - Action

Director(s) - Dolph Lundgren

Writer(s) - Douglas W. Miller

Cast - Dolph Lundgren , Jerry Springer and Shakara Ledard

Blue Rider's Role - Bridge financier

Distributor(s) - Bauer Martinez Studios, Visual Entertainment, Edito Films and Fravidis (France), Force Video (Australia), Inter Film (Japan), Prooptiki (Greece), Pyramid Home Video (Russia), Transeuropa Video Entertainment (Argentina), e-m-e The DVD Company (Germany)

Release Date - 2004

Synopsis - The President of the United States (Jerry Springer) and his allies are trying to push through Congress a plan for world peace, but it's meeting with a lot of opposition and drastic measures will be required to make it work.

Unbeknownst to the general public, the President has planned for the National Security Advisor to make a secret trip to Rumania where he'll meet a man who is in deep with the terrorists. A Gulf War veteran named Lance Rockford (Dolph Lundgren) and some secret agents will accompanying him on the trip.

The Americans arrive and are attacked by a group of militants. Lance fights to get himself and the National Security Advisor out alive and hope the President can get them safely back to the US.

Release Data:
The Defender had its US video premiere on Oct. 18, 2005. Its video premiere in Greece was in 2004; it also had video or DVD premieres in Spain, Czech Republic, Brazil, Russia, Thailand, Japan, Italy, France, Argentina, Australia, and Netherlands in 2005; its TV premiere in S. Africa was in 2005 and in Germany was in 2006; and it had DVD premieres in Israel and Poland in 2006. It came out on DVD in Canada in 2007 and in the U.K. in 2008.

Viewers' Ratings:
As of Feb. 26, 2009, more than 56.8% of the 661 people who evaluated The Defender at The Internet Movie Database gave it positive ratings, with 12.9% rating it a perfect 10. The demographic groups rating it highest were boys 17 and younger (who gave it a 9.0 out of 10), women 45 and older (6.1) and women 18-29 (5.9).

Critics' Kudos:
DVD Talk: "As an entertaining shoot'em up, The Defender delivers. The way the plot plays out is clever, not revealing too much until the last 20 minutes. Dolph's movie is paced really well and once it takes off it goes and goes and goes all the way until the end credits roll. There are plenty of shootouts, explosions, standoffs and tense situations to string it all together from one action set piece to the next.

"The Defender is a straight up 'kill-'em-all and let God sort'em out' film in the tradition of the Cannon films of the mid eighties. The fight choreography is solid, the performances are as good as you'd expect from a film carried by Dolph Lundgren and Jerry Springer, and the violence is hard-hitting and believable. It's so violent, bloody and sincere in its mayhem that you can't help but enjoy it."

Dave Johnson, DVD Verdict: "Lundgren has proven that he is a more than capable director with this film. The Defender plays like a theatrical feature. It looks great, the effects are top-notch, and the action is very well executed. And there is action. It's easily one of the straight-up most action-saturated flicks I've seen in a while, and it's leaps and bounds above any of the other direct-to-DVD ilk.

"After about 20 minutes or so of exposition and setting up the story, the flick goes balls-to-the-wall. From the first moment the enemies open fire, the movie rarely takes a breath. This must have set some kind of record in the prop department for most blanks used. Plus it's good action. The shootout scenes are tense and terrifically choreographed, and the premise of a bunch of outnumbered sharpshooters facing off against a cascade of faceless bullet magnets is a dependable set-up for quality mayhem. In that way, The Defender reminded me of Assault on Precinct 13.

"This is hard R stuff, too. [Hats off] to Lundgren for crafting uncompromising, gritty sequences that hearken back to the days when films like these weren't panty-wearing PG-13 CGI-laced knock-offs. The bullets hit, the blood flows in torrents, knives are shoved into guts, necks are snapped and the squibs detonate like crazy. The action in The Defender is realistic, and when the good guys go down, it ain't pretty.

"Bolstering the kinetic on-screen happenings is the topsy-turvy story. We don't know what the meeting is for, what the President has up his sleeve or even who the bad guys are. Kudos to the script and its writer for stringing me along nicely. There are a lot of plot twists, red herrings and even a traitor or two. The process in which these were unveiled is tight and well-done.

"The Defender looks great. The transfer is solid, and the colors hold up strong. It looks as good as any movie from the theatre. The 5.1 mix is loud and active. The Defender is a visual treat and boasts some killer mayhem.

"Finally, I am happy to see my dream pair of Dolph Lundgren and Jerry Springer finally come together to make a movie. Next up: Steven Seagal and Dr. Phil?"

Your Video Store Shelf review: "The Defender is the best direct-to-video film Dolph’s ever done.
Lundgren manages to rock out not only the directing, but also the acting. Both Lundgren and the movie itself are gritty. He has improved spectacularly over the past 20 years. It’s sad that Hollywood no longer believes people over 35 can be action heroes, as Dolph is tremendous here. The Defender is a violent and fun action film."

"Outlaw Vern" Review: "It's a straighforward, competent, low-budget action movie. The plot is full of twists and turns. Dolph has some charisma and he's aging better than some of the 80s guys. All of the American action heroes seem like they have big egos, but Dolph doesn't seem like he's full of himself."

Major Cast and Crew Credits and Awards:
Directed by Dolph Lundgren (The Mechanik).

Written by Douglas W. Miller (The Number One Girl).

Stars Dolph Lundgren (A View to a Kill, Johnny Mnemonic, Universal Soldier, Masters of the Universe, The Punisher, Hidden Agenda, The Peacekeeper; won an acting award for Rocky IV); Jerry Springer (Ringmaster, Citizen Verdict, A Fare to Remember, Since You've Been Gone, The Jerry Springer Show) and Shakara Ledard (After the Sunset, Raising Helen, Prey for Rock & Roll, Full Clip).

Cast includes Thomas Lockyer (Dog Soldiers, Cutthroat Island, Merlin, Highlander: Endgame, The Tall Guy, Ultraviolent, Stealing Heaven); Caroline Lee-Johnson (The Saint, The Uninvited, A Woman's Guide to Adultery, Holby City); Gerald Kyd (Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, The Principles of Lust, All in the Game, Richard II); Ian Porter (Saving Private Ryan, Spy Game, The Jacket, Alien Autopsy) and Howard Antony (Eastenders, Seizing Me).

Executive producers are Alastair Burlingham (I Could Never Be Your Woman, House of 9, Number One Girl); Al Khalifa (House of 9) and Sheikh Mohamed Bin Salman (House of 9).

Producers are Philippe Martinez (The Groomsmen,
Wake of Death, Dot Kill, Modigliani, Land of the Blind, Texas 46, Out of Season); Douglas W. Miller (Modigliani, Wake of Death, House of 9, Irish Jam, Out of Season, Ripper 2: Letter from Within) and Claudine Strasser (The Number One Girl, Mr. Bean's Holiday, The Flock, I Could Never Be Your Woman).

Original Music by Adam Nordén (Bombay Dreams, Direct Action, Wallender; awards for Zozo and Beck).

Cinematography by Maxime Alexandre (The Hills Have Eyes, The Last Drop, Haute Tension).

Film Editing by Dedan Ouziel (Wake of Death) and Julian Rodd (Revelation, The Keeper, Preaching to the Perverted).

Production Design by Matthew Button (Spivs, Dot.Kill, The Last Drop, Robinson Crusoë, 28 Days Later, The World is Not Enough, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider).

Costume Design by Till Fuhrmann (Ice Planet, Sportsman of the Century, Lexx).

Special Effects by Scott McIntyre (Shaun of the Dead, Charlotte Grey, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Enemy at the Gates, Mindhunters, Possession).

Visual Effects by Joerg Bruemmer (The Thief Lord, Wake of Death, The Flying Scotsman); Florian Decker (Bookies, I Love Paris, S.O.S. Barracuda - Die Tränen der Kleopatra, Dot.Kill) and Ute Engel (I am Guilty, Solist).

Internet Movie Database entry for The Defender

Three trailers for The Defender (Quicktime, Flash and in Japanese)

Official Site

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