Looking Back at Wedlock (1991) with Rutger Hauer

Plot: A man (Rutger Hauer) and a woman (Mimi Rogers) escape from a high-tech prison, bound by collars set to explode if they part. 

Rutger Hauer and Mimi Rogers star in this entertaining futuristic prison movie that I find is the perfect double bill to have with Fortress starring Christopher Lambert.

Wedlock doesn’t take itself too seriously and Rutger Hauer‘s character is refreshingly different from your usual action movie protagonist. He plays a diamond thief called Frank Warren who is betrayed by his best friend (James Remar) and fiancé (Joan Chen) and finds himself locked up in a new kind of prison where if you try to escape your head explodes.

Rather than being a tough guy who can find a way out of every situation Frank has a big mouth and is a bit of a coward; he never knows when to stay quiet and is actually quite hard to take to at first. As the film goes on he becomes more appealing but it was nice to see something fresh in terms of character in the kind of movie we’ve seen before.

There are a few twists and turns and we are never sure who can be trusted; also any movie that has Ned Ryerson (Stephen Tobolowsky) as an evil Warden gets two thumbs up from me. Joan Chen and James Remar make for a hateful pair (especially Chen) too and we also get a small role from Danny Trejo. Marked for Death’s Basil Wallace (he played Screwface) plays nasty inmate Emerald in this and if you keep your eyes open there is a shot of a movie theatre that is in fact playing Marked for Death!

In terms of action we get some fights, shoot-outs and most importantly exploding heads which I feel we need to see more of in modern cinema. There is some quirky humour which elevates Wedlock and that’s mostly due to Rutger Hauer’s character; I feel like a lot of his lines were improvised which makes him far more interesting.

Overall, Wedlock is a lot of fun with enough action to keep you watching and some nice humour and characters to make this worth checking out.