Blast (1997)

That’s hardly even necessary, as the whole plot outline could be considered as a spoiler in itself, as it’s so absolutely derivative and done a million times before that you’d need to have had your head in the sand for past 15 years if you were unable to figure out what happens in this absolute turkey.

The history of this *ahem* “movie” and me goes back to October 1996. On a wet Friday night, me and my girlfriend decided to rent a movie to sit and watch that night. After sitting through some romantic crap the previous week with her, she agreed to sit through one of my “action” movies with me the next week. Unfortunately, I could not have made a worse choice than I did, but there’s no turning back time now. Looking back on it now, when I made her sit through this, it’s no wonder the relationship didn’t last long. It was a bad night, and she kept complaining to me and asking me why I rented this garbage. By halfway through it I couldn’t take anymore and switched it off. We both declared it as the worst movie ever made, and back then I had no idea who Albert Pyun was.

Over 7 years on, I finally caught this on TV for the first time and decided to sit through it just to see if it was really as bad as I remembered it to be. Having seen much more movies, especially B-movies, I wondered if my judgement would be any different now. Well, not only was it as bad as I remembered it, but it was a whole lot worse. But on the positive side, at least this time I was able to LAUGH at it. Which I did.

Moving onto the “movie” itself, what is so bad about it? Well, the easiest answer is “EVERYTHING” but I’d prefer to explain in detail about just how bad it is.

Since Die Hard, we’ve had the formula on a plane (Passenger 57), a ship (Under Siege), a train (Under Siege 2), an ice hockey stadium (Sudden Death). We’ve also had the low budget flick Terminal Rush which took the formula to a dam. After all this, just how far can this formula be taken? Oh well, Albert Pyun has made this one in a OLYMPIC TRAINING CENTRE WHERE THE US WOMANS SWIM TEAM ARE HELD HOSTAGE. DOESN’T THAT JUST SOUND EXCITING? No really, could they have set it in a less exciting venue? Given the size of the Nakatomi building in Die Hard, there was tons of potential and it was all done to fantastic effect. A swimming pool, a few changing rooms and a few short grey corridors has NO potential. They may as well have set it on a minibus, that would be as thrilling.

So our first drawback is that we’ve got a dull and claustrophobic location. Second, is the characters. Linden Ashby as the “hero” janitor, is a complete joke. He shows absolutely no character at all, other than looking bored and feeling that he just wants to get home and away from working on this trash as quickly as possible. Andrew Divoff as the arch villain, is just as bad. While the terrorists in Die Hard came across as professionals who’d come ready and knew what they were doing, this guy just looks comes across incredibly dumb. If I was his hostage, I’d be hard pushed not to laugh at him. And Rutger Hauer’s performance, oh please just don’t go there.

Then we have the shoddy direction from Pyun and the hideously cheap sets. Much of the time we see our character running, lifelessly through dull grey corridors and the “action” scenes are amateurishly tacked on one after another. But it’s how cheap those look which is the worst thing, at no point do we ever even see a weapon make contact with a body. Whether it be a knife, a bullet or anything. We just don’t see it, making the fight scenes and gunplay look really, REALLY cheap. At one point Ashby shoots the control panel to cut off the cameras in the building, we just see him point the gun, the camera cut away from it and we hear the gunfire, but don’t even see the thing get damaged, indicating that they were so low on budget that they couldn’t even destroy this.

I don’t know what’s the worst out of the highly derivative plot, the horrible fight scenes, the dull location or THE ENDING. At the end, the legless Leo literally fights the villain while on a wheelchair. And no, you did not misread that.

So Blast has terrible acting, an incredibly cheap looking budget, terrible fight scenes, a claustrophobic and dull location, stock footage for explosions but I don’t think I’ve made the point of just how unoriginal the script is. It steals the “terrorists take hostages but didn’t count on the hero who’s wife happens to be also a hostage” straight from Die Hard, and as another reviewer pointed out, bases upon the potential terrorist attack the FBI halted at the Olympics. That’s just ridiculous that so little originality can be put into something.

I think you should get the point by now. Blast is utterly terrible in every possible way, and further proves that Albert Pyun should look for another career. The only things I can recommend this for is an example for a class on “How not to make a movie in every possible aspect” as this breaks just about every rule in the book. And depending on your mood or point of view, it can be one hell of a laugh to point out everything wrong in this, like it was during my second viewing. It’s even worse than Skyscraper with Anna Nicole Smith as a Die Hard clone. Is it worse than Ed Wood movies? Hell yeah, it is definitely worse than Plan 9 From Outer Space.