Looking Back at Blast (1997)

Plot: An ex-martial artist janitor, takes a swipe at terrorists holding female athletes hostage and would-be spectators at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA.

Linden Ashby stars in this Die Hard clone from director Albert Pyun which generally got poor reviews but I’ve always had a soft spot for it; it isn’t anything new but Andrew Divoff never fails as a villain and he is suitably hateful in Blast.

Ashby is known mostly for playing Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat but his character Jack Bryant is quite the opposite of Cage; he is now a janitor with a leg injury and is estranged from his wife due to various personal demons. He used to be a professional athlete so when terrorists come calling during his shift it’s his chance for redemption. He doesn’t spout one-liners and despite his fighting skills he feels more vulnerable than your average action hero.

We still get regular fight scenes and shoot-outs and Blast appears to have a bigger budget than a lot of Pyun’s low budget fare; the only jarring special effect is the explosion at the end.

Rutger Hauer has a rather small yet strange role as Leo with his bizarre hairstyle but he is a welcome addition to any film even if his character could have been meatier. Cyborg’s main villain Fender actor Vincent Klyn shows up at the beginning and end as a villain but once again you can’t help feeling he had a bigger role that was cut. Tim Thomerson also appears as the Police Commissioner and like Hauer he just makes any movie better.

Blast is well paced and isn’t short on action although the bad guys are especially inept here; they keep seeing Jack on the cameras but no matter what he is always one step ahead of them (like any true action hero).

The music is reminiscent of Speed and is one of the film’s highlights with its cool drums adding to the excitement.

Overall, Blast is a fun ride with Andrew Divoff stealing the show as the villain and Linden Ashby making for a sympathetic protagonist; it has plenty of action and if like me you love your undemanding Die Hard clones then you’ll have a good time here.