The Final Sanction is a cool concept with some entertaining action scenes but it does feel like a missed opportunity with a lame ending.
Plot: After war breaks out between the U.S. and Russia, the two countries decide to settle the conflict by putting its two best warriors into an arena in a fight to the death.
Review: I’ve always considered Ted Prior to be an underrated action star; The Final Sanction is one of his better movies with a genuinely interesting storyline.
It very much plays on the Cold War fears of the time with Russia and America close to engaging in a complete nuclear war. Before complete annihilation strikes however, the two countries agree to pit their two greatest warriors together in combat. Step Forward Ted Prior and Robert Z’Dar.
Prior is in full-on John McClane mode as jaded soldier Sgt. Tom Batanic who spouts one-liners every few seconds. He’s more cynical about helping his country whereas Z’Dar’s character Sgt. Sergi Schvackov will give everything for it. I’m not sure Batanic exactly seems like the right choice for preventing a World War as he’s pretty indifferent to the whole affair.
It also takes a little while for the action to really kick in but it is for the most part pretty satisfying with some hand to hand combat and awesome weapons. Schvackov especially enjoys using garden tools as weapons which is certainly different…
At around 80 minutes it’s all over very fast and the ending is a bit of a cop out as well but it’s difficult not to just enjoy the sheer cheese.
Overall, The Final Sanction is a cool concept with some entertaining action scenes but it does feel like a missed opportunity with a lame ending.