Red Scorpion

1989

Red Scorpion

Critics Consensus

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9%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 11

36%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,553
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Movie Info

A Soviet infiltrator is stationed in a rebellious African country where he's supposed to kill a disruptive leader.

Cast

Dolph Lundgren
as Lt. Nikolai Rachenko
M. Emmet Walsh
as Dewey Ferguson
Al White
as Kallunda Kintash
T.P. McKenna
as General Vortek
Ruben Nthodi
as Sundata
Alex Colon
as Mendez
Brion James
as Krasnov
Regopstaan
as Gao, Bushman
James Mthoba
as Guerilla Officer
Ernest Ndlovu
as Guerilla Guard
Nicky Rebelo
as Occupation Officer
Drummond Marais
as Occupation Officer
Charles Comyn
as Occupation Officer
Patrick Shai
as African Soldier
Greg Latter
as Russian Soldier
Rob Smith
as Russian Officer
Tullio Moneta
as Occupation Soldier
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Critic Reviews for Red Scorpion

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (1) | Rotten (10)

Audience Reviews for Red Scorpion

  • Sep 27, 2010
    Oh my god, you guys, this movie is great. Okay, maybe the movie itself isn't super-fantastic, but it turns out that watching a schlocky film in the middle of the night and getting to wolfwhistle at the screen like a construction worker is my idea of a good time. We watched a print that was in such bad shape that it actually caught in the projector - it was the first time I had ever seen a real film burn. I feel like I passed some sort of milestone. I'm not usually a fan of action movies, and this one is largely indistinguishable from most of the others that came out in the 80s. An enormous scary dude goes into a bad situation and solves problems by wrecking stuff, kicking peoples' asses and generally blowing shit up. I really liked this one because Lundgren was so damn pretty back in his heyday. Like catnip. Like Kryptonite. He's a good six inches taller than any other actor in this film, and he's got at least two feet of circumference on them as well. I'd like to make a calendar out of screenshots of this movie. There was a little spattering of humor thorughout it, and the action scenes were well-choreographed and rendered. Pure delicious popcorn cinema at its finest. And totally improved by the screweing-up projector, the missing scene and the myriad imperfections in the print.
    Emily A Super Reviewer
  • Jul 09, 2009
    <i>"You lied to me General!"</i> <p> The real star of <i>Red Scorpion</i> (an '80s action-adventure movie set in the fictional African country of Mombaka) is the glistening, muscle-bound torso of actor Dolph Lundgren. Whenever the action ceases for a period of time, this element becomes the film's primary visual focus. And since the Dolphster is perpetually stone-faced and only occasionally speaks to issue clichéd commands in a hesitant monotone, his heaving chest manages to convey more emotion than his inarticulate lips. While this is more or less a given considering that the 1980s was a period of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, <i>Red Scorpion</i> is a comparatively subpar effort for one simple reason: lack of quality action. <p> In the film, Lundgren portrays a Spetsnaz (that is, an excellent Soviet agent trained in undercover work) named Nikolai Rachenko who's assigned to infiltrate and squelch a force of African rebels. While he manages to crash their stronghold, he fails to kill their leader - and his failure enrages his superiors. Having been discarded by his allies, Nikolai unexpectedly sides with the rebels; wishing to put an end to the killing and repressing of the African people. In essence, the movie concerns Nikolai's struggle with his orders. At first he is an unwavering soldier who does precisely what he's told, but he soon develops a growing resistance to his orders before finally becoming outright disgusted about the Soviet and Cuban oppression in Africa. It's worth noting that the title is derived from the scorpion that's carved into Lundgren's bountiful chest (he earns the nickname Red Scorpion, in case you didn't figure that out for yourself). <p> <i>Red Scorpion</i> is essentially a poorly-veiled knock-off of the <i>Rambo</i> movies (specifically the sequels), with the fictional Mombaka standing in for Afghanistan or Vietnam. Nikolai is basically John Rambo with a Russian accent, with Lundgren seemingly impersonating the trained killing machine. As directed by Joseph Zito (who orchestrated a bunch of Chuck Norris-inflicted carnage with <i>Missing in Action</i>), <i>Red Scorpion</i> proceeds with the logic of an adventure comic; playing out like a Saturday morning cartoon masquerading as a live-action feature film. Helicopters and tanks blow up everything in sight and many expendable soldiers do a lot of shooting, often to the musical accompaniment of Little Richard hits. Unfortunately, we've seen it all done before (from the desert landscape to the truck chase to the swooping helicopters), and we've seen it all done better as well. We've seen the muscles, too (the only difference is the faces). <p> '80s action films are generally recognised for dishing up massive amounts of action and gratuitous violence. Unfortunately, <i>Red Scorpion</i> suffers from a fatal flaw - it tries to say something relevant about the world events of the time at the expense of brainless action. If done properly, drama and seriousness in the context of an action movie can work, but a great deal of this movie is dull and uninteresting (outside of the action, that is). A lot of the runtime is devoted to the Dolphster (at his most buffest) strolling around the desert as he begins to develop a conscience. Where's all the action? The love interest? <i>Red Scorpion</i> contains too much preaching and moralising to satisfy in the same way the <i>Rambo</i> movies did. But at least the action, however limited it is, entertains to no end. Zito crafts a number of chaotic, exciting (yet still daft) shootouts. The final battle in particular is a humdinger. <p> Considering the budget and target audience, <i>Red Scorpion</i> pretty much achieves its modest goals. Draggy patches notwithstanding, this is an entertaining action movie featuring Dolph Lundgren at the peak of his physical form along with a healthy dosage of one-liners. In the end, however, the film offers nothing new, and the twist of making the hero a Russian is hardly enough to extend the film's appeal beyond the audience of hardcore action fans or loyal Dolph Lundgren followers. If you do not fall into any of the abovementioned categories, give it a miss.
    Cal ( Super Reviewer
  • Aug 26, 2007
    I saw this when I was small...It was cool at the time : )
    EightThirty . Super Reviewer
  • Jan 20, 2007
    dolph lundgrens best role that i've seen. i'd honestly say this is one of the two best action movies i have ever seen,.. the other being terminator 2: judgement day. i particularly like the scenes with the bushman
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer

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