Year: 2001
Director: Renny Harlin
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Estella Warren, Kip Pardue, Burt Reynolds, Gina Gershon, Robert Sean Leonard
What was much more interesting than the movie was the personalities involved. Pretty much all of them were washed up with their careers going downhill.

There was Sylvester Stallone, whose career enjoyed a brief resurgence as an action hero courtesy of director Renny Harlin for 1993's Cliffhanger but then plunged back down into straight-to-video action land and has stayed there ever since, Driven being his only theatrical release for many years.

There's Harlin himself, who spent much of the 90's as one of Hollywood's flashiest popcorn movie action directors with an eye for cool styling and who wasn't afraid of shocking and at times upsetting violence. After one of the most expensive flops ever made (1995's Cutthroat Island) and the 1999 turkey Deep Blue Sea he's been mostly written off.

There's Burt Reynolds, who was going to drown in the same straight to video action hell Stallone had slid into (and had been there since the mid 80's) if not for having his credibility rescued Pulp Fiction style in PT Anderson's Boogie Nights. Since then, he's had a higher profile but hasn't done anything as cool since, and was slowly sinking back down the slope.

And there's poor Estella Warren, with angelic beauty, real talent, and the worst casting agent in the world; after being declared the next best thing when she hit the world stage as another MTA, her career choices have included the Planet of the Apes remake, this, and Kangaroo Jack.

Ironically, Harlin is still a great director, getting some great cuts of real expression from the actors (including Stallone) by filming them using unexpected and natural emotions rather than the stock standard Hollywood staging.

The movie might have had more appeal if it wasn't a sport film though. A hot up and comer feeling the pressure is teamed up with a veteran given a second chance, all against an unexpectedly sensitive villain, a crusty trainer (Reynolds in the same role occupied by Burgess Meredith in the Rocky films) and a lot of loud, fast action and tits. Well done but a little too narrow.

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