Review: 'Armed Response', Wesley Snipes & Seth Rollins Grapple With Dull Sci-Fi

You won't find a lot of surprises in the low-budget sci-fi flick, Armed Response. There isn't much in the way of visual flair or action, either. But what you will get is a lot of Wesley Snipes, still one of the baddest dudes on the planet, and that he continues to take D-grade movies like this seriously is more reason to wish it was worth it.

Snipes is surrounded by a halfway decent cast that includes Anne Heche, WWE superstar Seth Rollins, and Dave Annable, but let's be honest, if you're watching Armed Response it's to see the former Blade kick some butt. Truthfully, he doesn't get nearly enough of a chance to do that, but he still has the commanding presence that makes you think he might at any moment. The problem is that there isn't really anybody for him to fight, unless he's going to punch the walls.

Armed Response, which sounds like the title of a cop comedy from the '80s, follows a team of black ops agents called in to check out a mysterious compound  known as The Temple, after its artificial intelligence shuts down. There's more mystery than action going on here, as video footage reveals the previous team on-site was picked off one-by-one by an invisible assailant. Snipes' team arrives and they too come under assault from an enemy they can't identify. Unfortunately it isn't the Predator because that would be awesome.

There's only one halfway decent brawl and, sadly, it isn't even against Rollins. How is that even possible? Snipes and Rollins seem like naturals for a good old fashioned throwdown, but they are occupied investigating grisly murder scenes through razor thin characters. Director John Stockwell, who once had a Hell of a promising career with movies like Crazy/Beauitful and Blue Crush, continues his streak of wasting the talents of killer action stars. He's never able to overcome the bargain basement production values; I'm pretty sure they shot this in Snipes' basement. Nor is he able to drum up much tension out of Matt Savelloni's script, which labors behind its "mystery" long after we've already figured it out.

The only real mystery is if Snipes will rebound from this into better projects, or if movies this cheap and uninspiring will be his new normal. I guess we'll find out if his next film co-stars Nicolas Cage, 50 Cent, or Bruce Willis. At this point, Marvel can't come calling with a new Blade movie fast enough.

Rating: 2 out of 5