Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Artisan Home Entertainment presents
Con Express (2002)

"Make sure no one survived that crash. These interruptions are wrecking my day."
- The General (Arnold Vosloo)

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: August 07, 2002

Stars: Sean Patrick Flanery, Arnold Vosloo
Other Stars: Ursula Karven, Tim Thomerson, Joel West
Director: Terry Cunningham

MPAA Rating: R for violence, language and some nudity
Run Time: 01h:34m:28s
Release Date: July 23, 2002
UPC: 012236126843
Genre: action

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C- C-B-C+ D

DVD Review

Terry Cunningham's Con Express is one of those action B-films that looks and sounds like something we think we may have seen before; the characters, dialogue and scenarios all have a resounding air of familiarity about them. The premise here is a runaway freight train barreling through the Alaskan wilderness packed with some kind of deadly nerve gas, and while parts of the script would actually be decent B-movie fodder, Con Express somehow chugs along predictably and inserts the occasional standard action cliches, without any real sense of drama.

Brooks (Sean Patrick Flanery) is a cocky Alaskan customs agent who inadvertently assists in the arrest of a much sought after international criminal, a rogue Russian general played by The Mummy himself, Arnold Vosloo. Also sharing in the bust is a female Soviet agent (Ursula Karven), who has been tracking the general across the globe. It's a requirement in a film like this that Brooks and the Russian agent will not like each other, be forced into a situation as partners, get naked together, and utter a few wisecracks while doing dangerous stunts. Check, check, check and check.

Like his turns in The Mummy and The Mummy Returns, Vosloo here is the heavy who gets remarkably little screen time when all is said and done. His face is plastered all over the DVD artwork, but his character isn't in the film all that much; that's too bad because his character is probably the most interesting one in the whole project, with the possible exception of his psychotic partner Zednick (Joel West), who likes to eat people's faces. The mummy and the general both are pretty similar, actually, and require Vosloo to scowl and look really, really pissed off much of the time. I have no clue if he can do more advanced acting, but he carries these types of bad guy roles pretty effortlessly, and in Con Express he does it with a decent amount of camp, too.

The staple of any good action movie is, well, the action, of course. A film like Con Express, however, was made with a modest (re: small) budget, and director Cunningham was forced to pilfer action footage from other films to fill in for his big set pieces. Like Jim Wynorski did with Extreme Limits, the airplane crash scene from Cliffhanger is once again trotted out during the general's big escape scene, and it looks just as out of place here as it did in Wynorski's film. During the big runaway train sequences, the 1985 film Runaway Train (there's a surprise, eh?) supplies most of the footage of the out-of-control choo-choo. Even Sly Stallone's embarrassing Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot! contributes some action sequences to fill in some of the budgetary cracks in Con Express.

All of the requisite action plot points are here: there are plenty of nonsensical shootouts, fiery explosions, a number of daring walk-on-top-of-a-moving-train sequences, and of course the obligatory dangle-by-one-arm-from-a-moving-train scene. Everything else in the film just seems like filler.

Rating for Style: C-
Rating for Substance: C-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Rationo

Image Transfer Review: A nondescript 1.33:1 fullframe transfer from Artisan is peppered with a few small nicks, but otherwise looks pretty good. Colors look natural, as do fleshtones, though in something like this where at least three different feature films were used for "stock" footage, it's a little hard to retain a degree of consistency in the finished product.

Image Transfer Grade: B-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: The 2.0 surround track is as unremarkable as the image transfer; dialogue is clear, but any kind of spatial imaging is pretty much nonexistent. Rear channel activity is nil, with all of the sound reproduced across the front channels. A mix with a deeper bottom end, to take advantage of the whole runaway train scenario, would have been appreciated.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: AGI Media Packaging
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: One theatrical trailer, 24 chapters and Spanish subtitles are all Artisan has included on this disc. Where the hell's a commentary? This disc could have used one badly. Jim Wynorski did a great commentary on the very similar Extreme Limits, and I wished Terry Cunningham had provided the same kind of self-mocking treatise here, but no such luck.

Extras Grade: D


Final Comments

If you're used to big-budget action movies, cheaply made outings like this will pale in comparison. However, as mindless rainy Saturday afternoon entertainment, it ain't all that bad. There's a certain TV-movie campiness in Con Express, much of it delivered by the snarling bad guys. Flanery's bland hero, Brooks, is the weakest element in the whole equation, and when you're rooting for the villain you know something is wrong. The macho posturing and snappy one-liners get a bit much at times, but Arnold Vosloo's underused general is an enjoyably shady character.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store