One in the Chamber is a direct-to-DVD release starring Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding, Jr and Dolph Lundgren. I don’t know who I feel sorrier for. Dolph is getting a theatrical career after decades on the direct-to-video circuit with The Expendables films. He is finally working with another Academy Award winner, but it is sadly Cuba. Cuba has had a painful fall from grace and lost the respect of Hollywood since winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor back in 1998 for Jerry Maguire. Since then, he has made bad films and worse films. He has fallen all the way to star opposite Dolph. It is like they are passing each other on the Hollywood power scale.
One in the Chamber opens with almost three full minutes of opening credits where they beat into your head something about a Bible and a little girl with music that does not quite fit this type of film. Once the movie gets going, we meet Ray (Gooding), a hitman hired by one mob to assassinate the leaders of another mob. The mobsters are introduced with ridiculous freeze frames. The characters themselves are of very little importance. Bobby (Leo Gregory) and his brother Mikhail (Andrew Bicknell) hire Ray to take out the head of the other mob Ivan (Jimmy Townsend) and Demyan (Louis Mandylor). Ray misses Demyan, and this causes all Hell to break loose.
Ray’s handler Leo (Billy Murray, not Bill) informs Ray that he has not been contracted by Demyan to kill Mikhail and Bobby, as Mikhail and Bobby have contracted Aleksey (Lundgren) to finish the job Ray started. So, some cat-and-mouse antics ensue, leaving both assassins at odds with their prospective employers, and each other. In the meantime, there is a pointless storyline about the little girl from the opening credits. She is the daughter of one of Ray’s past assignments. He has been keeping an eye on her to keep her out of trouble. The only problem is, I don’t believe she is in any trouble. This storyline is absolutely useless to the story, but it’s a convenient way to get Ray to voluntarily come out in the open to face his own death.
In the end, One in the Chamber has little to offer in the way of anything resembling entertainment. Dolph Lundgren does not appear in the film for over twenty-five minutes. And when he finally appears, the dialog is cringe-worthy. As a matter of fact, the whole film is cringe-worthy. William Kaufman’s direction is messy. The editing is terrible. The music seems out of place. And the acting is subpar, even for this level of film. The fact that I was able to sit through this atrocity astounds me. I am truly wishing that I would have saved that $1.30 that I spent at the Redbox on this hunk of shit B-Action “movie.” I guess what I am trying to say is, DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME. There are other movies in the Redbox that might be worth your time, but this is not one of them.
I hate this time of year for movies. November cannot get here fast enough.