Plot: The eyes of the world are on Atlanta, as the summer games have started and crowds of people flood the area, from sports enthusiasts to political officials to maniacal terrorists. A band of villains has placed explosives in numerous locations, taken the women’s swim team hostage, and plans to make the most of the President’s presence at the games. Meanwhile, janitor Jack (Linden Ashby) is haunted by his past as an Olympic medalist, his failing marriage, and his current lot in life. But when the terrorists take control, Jack learns that his estranged wife has been taken and despite the odds, he plans to make a stand.
Entertainment Value: A low rent action movie inspired by Die Hard, Blast might not be original, between Die Hard and the Atlanta Olympic scheme, but it is a fun and often off the wall experience. The narrative is typical action cheese, with an early focus on how impenetrable the event’s security network is, only to have the terrorists face no resistance whatsoever. The movie is essentially Die Hard at the Olympics, but it has a great 90s vibe, over the top performances, and some odd moments that help it rise above the usual 90s action crowd. The pace is fine, despite an overall lack of action, though I do think it runs longer than it needs to. Blast has action scenes of course, but isn’t a balls to the wall, kinetic action picture, more of a thriller with action driven set pieces from time to time. The lack of resources is evident whenever the action kicks in, so those scenes aren’t grand spectacles, but I loved the cheap, b movie vibes involved. I also love the explosion that hits toward the finale, which is hands down one of the worst, but most hilarious explosions in cinema’s rich history. Blast is derivative and beyond cheap, but also a fun ride that embraces the b movie elements. Albert Pyun just knows how to make so much entertainment out of so little cash.
Linden Ashby has the lead role as our action hero and he really dials up the tough guy vibes, turning in a super fun performance. He has solid charisma and screen presence, which helps Blast a lot, as he can handle the minor dramatic requirements and is terrific in the more action driven sequences. The movie’s fight scenes are hilarious and one of the true highlights, as they feel rushed and unprepared, as if the actors are just improvising as they go. This leads to some awkward, stilted fights that are just immense fun to watch, as they’re so off balance and unnatural. I think Ashby is a great lead here, but we all know a good action hero needs a good villain, so Andrew Divoff steps into that role with a hunger for the script. He devours every line he is given here, with a strange accent and a dialed up, over the top villain performance that adds a lot of fun and b movie thrills to Blast. The cast has a lot of other familiar faces as well in smaller roles, including Rutger Hauer, Tim Thomerson, Shannon Elizabeth, Kimberly Warren, and Yuji Okumoto. So for fans of 90s cheese, this is a damn good ensemble of talent brought together in Blast.
The Disc: As part of the MVD Marquee Collection, Blast looks fantastic in HD and the movie has never looked this good on home video. I was impressed by the fine detail, with individual pores visible and the smallest textures brought to life, while the print is super clean in most scenes. I hoped for a great presentation and this disc delivers, just an excellent visual treatment. No extras.