Looking Back at Velocity Trap (1999) with Olivier Gruner
Plot: A cop framed for murder is the only one not in cryosleep when a team of thieves boards the armored treasury spaceship he’s on to steal its load – 40 billion universal dollars – and then ram the ship into a comet to cover their tracks.
I’ve always considered Olivier Gruner a rather underrated action star as he has the charisma and certainly had the moves; his fight scenes are always well done and Velocity Trap is a crazy good time. As it came out in 1999 you would expect some dodgy CG but for the most part the visual effects are actually pretty impressive, so you’re never taken out of the story. Speaking of which, the story is rather cool as well with Gruner playing a framed cop named Stokes who is sent to guard $40 billion dollars on a space ship. While the rest of the crew are in cryosleep thieves board the ship and try to steal the money, so it’s up to Stokes to protect the money and the crew.
There’s a lot packed into the 90 minute runtime with varied action scenes including a few fights, some shoot-outs, an aerial dogfight in space and a far too short scene where Stokes is about to face off against a cool massive robot. Obviously, they must have run out of budget, so they cut it which is a shame as it could have been an awesome sequence.
You may recognize Jorja Fox from CSI and here she is truly nasty from the start and we just countdown the seconds until she gets what she deserves. Throughout the film there are double-crosses aplenty and we’re never sure who to trust which keeps things interesting.
I love how Gruner sometimes has little quirky moments of humour and one such scene has him dancing around the spaceship to some Opera while everyone else is asleep. It’s a nice moment of levity in a mostly serious tale.
Overall, Velocity Trap is a fun actioner with Olivier Gruner doing what he does best by giving us some cool fight scenes, shoot-outs and space battles making this an entertaining and fast-paced watch.