Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Den of Lions

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
4 out of 10
Extras Rating:
N/A out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: R

Starring:
Stephen Dorff as Mike Varga
Bob Hoskins as Darius Paskevic
Laura Fraser as Katya Paskevic
Ian Hart as Rob Shepard
David O'Hara as Ferko Kurchina
József Gyabronka as Laszlo Juskus
Andrew McCulloch as Gyuarka Kovacs
Tania Emery as Rita
Philip Madoc as Grandpa Marcus
Attila Szatmari as Tomas Nazarov
Sarah Ann Schultz as Anna Nazarova
Zita Görög as Nico
Nabil Massad as Haznl
Robert Willox as Yakov
Athina Papadimitriu as Aunt Bardi

Special Features:
None

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 103 Minutes

Synopsis:
This film was originally released overseas in 2003. The following text is from the DVD cover:

"This high-stakes espionage thriller comes loaded with the Hollywood star power of Stephen Dorff (Blade, Cold Creek Manor) and Bob Hoskins (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Mona Lisa) in a pulse-pounding story about the dark side of organized crime! Even after the fall of the Iron Curtain, the Russian mafia continues to create havoc in Budapest under the rule of "Godfather" Darius Paskevik (Hoskins). In jumps Mike Varga (Dorff), an undercover FBI operative who works to infiltrate the mob and gain Paskevik's confidence -- but also falls for the Godfather's young and sexy daughter Katya! With the Russian government and the FBI on his back and his love for Katya caught in the crossfire, Mike's life is on the line as his loyalties are stretched to the limit!"

Den of Lions is rated R for violence, language and sexuality/nudity.

Mini-Review:
From the opening 5 minutes of this movie you can tell that it isn't going to be very good. In those minutes you see cheesy thugs kidnapping a girl, the standard "FBI, I need your car!" moment, a poorly choreographed car chase, a completely pointless explosion, and a stereotypical scene where the FBI chief chews out our hero for being a loose cannon who disregards the rules. He then does the only thing he can do with a rogue agent with a heart of gold – he sends him to Budapest, Hungary. Why the Hungarian government would need help from the American FBI is beyond me, but it's the premise of this movie. The film then plods along as the undercover Mike Varga is pulled farther and farther into the underworld. It's a plot that has been done over and over again in other films and done much better. There's nothing about Den of Lions that makes it interesting.

The cast is mediocre. Stephen Dorff plays Mike Varga, the undercover agent. He's tough and good looking, but he doesn't have much else going for him. Dorff was much better in Blade. Bob Hoskins plays yet another villain as Darius Paskevic. Again, he's been a better bad guy in a lot of other films, most recently in Unleashed. Then there's Laura Fraser as Katya Paskevic, the love interest in the film. She's played as a bad girl with a heart of gold, but it's hard to imagine the daughter of a Russian mobster as someone suddenly developing a conscience. None of the other supporting cast is either memorable or good.

If you think you might be interested in seeing this film, then do yourself a favor…don't. Die hard Bob Hoskins and Stephen Dorff fans might like it, but are there really that many of them out there? People interested in seeing the Budapest setting for the film might like to check it out, but that's not really that good of a reason to sit through this.

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