DVD Review – Armed Response

How do you feel about being lumped in with Wesley Snipes?

Noam Chomsky: With?

With Wesley Snipes as the two most recognizable faces of the tax resistance movement.

Noam Chomsky: Never heard of Leslie Snipes, I’m afraid.

Wesley Snipes, you never saw Major League? White Men Can’t Jump?

Noam Chomsky: I’ve heard of it, but…he’s the author?

He’s an actor. 

Noam Chomsky: Okay.

That’s from a silly interview that Noam Chomsky did with some students a few years ago. It’s no surprise that Chomsky doesn’t know who Snipes is: he is, of course, a busy man. However, Snipes’ rejection of paying taxes does play into his most recent film choices. He was sent to jail for not paying his taxes, and spent three years in federal prison but still owes millions in taxes. Because of that Snipes will pretty appear in any old crap to pay off his debts.

Armed Response might be a real low point in Snipes’ career. It plays like a really piss-poor first-person shooter, not a film at all. Wesley leads a group of special ops guys into an isolated military base where the previous team died under mysterious circumstances… stop me if you’ve heard this one before. It may have been sold as an action film, but it’s actually an even stupider horror movie, because strange supernatural occurrences are happening and start killing off the team… again, stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Snipes, who is a damn fine actor, looks utterly bored throughout this VOD mess of a movie. It’s so awful that it’s an embarrassment to the perfectly decent to even very good films that get thrown onto those platforms.  He is clearly just waiting for that paycheck so he can hand it over to the IRS. Anne Heche is in it, and after her great performance in Catfight I was hoping she might have a career rebirth but… na. Most baffling of all, Kiss’s Gene Simmons appears as “Male Suspect” but you find out along with the WWE and Snipes himself, Simmons produced the film. Simmons, who is probably the ugliest man who ever lived (maybe only topped by his fellow Kiss bandmates), has somehow fancied himself an actor over the years, with roles from playing the drug kingpin in the hilarious but decent pre-fame George Clooney film Red Surf to the evil hermaphrodite Velvet Von Ragne in Never Too Young to Die.

Overall despite taking some cues from many superior films (I even saw a reference to Polanski’s Repulsion!) Armed Response is best avoided at all costs. But if you must, it will be on Netflix any day, if it’s not already.

Ian Schultz

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