1997 / Director Albert Pyun. Movie # 28
How does one explain the mid 90s when it comes to Albert Pyun's career? In '95 he directed 3 films. In '96 he directed 5 films and in '97 he directed another 3. Thats astounding! The quality of each did vary but it's fair to say that for the quantity of films being pumped out, the standard is very good. BLAST is by no means the best of them but it still remains a perfectly passable action thriller. The story is presented as a "what it?". We are told of a real life terrorist plot that was intercepted prior to the Atlanta Olympic games and the film proceeds as though that threat was never detected. A terrorist group penetrates the security of the Atlanta Aquatic Centre where they take an American female swim team hostage. With FBI recon surrounding the facility, the pressure mounts and it's left to one lone janitor to take down the bad guys. This is more or less a poor man's DIE HARD which exploits all of the conventions and cliches, while still maintaining enough suspense to hold the viewer's attention. The film is strengthened by a good cast including Rutger Hauer, Andrew Divoff, Tim Thomerson, Thom Mathews and my favourite Pyun staple, Norbert Weissner. Albert's long time music collaborator Tony Riparetti delivers a beefed up score that probably over does it but lends the film an impression of urgency. Where the movie flounders is in it's bare-bones, low budget setting. The story takes place during the Olympic games and yet there no crowds, media or hype surrounding these events. Obviously budgetary restrains present that kind of production value but it does disconnect the viewer to an extent. The same minimalism was used in Pyun's MEAN GUNS and in many ways the two movies are very similar. I actually believe that BLAST is references in MEAN GUNS. It's a bit of nonsense but good fun if you're willing to go with it. If you decide to tack this one down then purchase the Spanish dvd release. It's presented in proper widescreen and the picture if pristine. Most other regions released the movie in 4:3 with a sub-par transfer.