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Cutter, The

Sony Pictures // R // March 14, 2006
List Price: $24.96 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Scott Weinberg | posted March 27, 2006 | E-mail the Author
The Movie

Think of your favorite 65-year-old person. Now think of that person stuck in the middle of a low-budget action sequence, karate chopping, head-butting, neck-cracking, etc., their way through a story that feels like it was written by two particularly lazy children. That's The Cutter, the latest action film from 65-year-old Chuck Norris.

If I opined that The Cutter is almost marginally better than your average Steven Seagal movie, would you consider that an enthusiastic recommendation? Well, you shouldn't, because that's as complimentary as I'll get in regard to this woeful mass of slovenly celluloid.

Norris plays a private dick who, following the death of his latest clients' daughter (nobody said he was a talented dick), finds himself embroiled in a kidnapping scenario that involves concentration camp survivors, two massive diamonds, and the guy who played Doc on The Love Boat from 1977 to 1986.

The screenplay is rife with groaners like "I'm as serious as a heart attack," and "I threw him out the window because ... I needed some air," while the production design looks like someone raided the storage room at your local Office Max. Despite the collectively wood-like presence of a few familiars faces (Joanna Pacula, Tracy Scoggins, the guy who played Doc on The Love Boat from 1977 to 1986), the flick never once feels like more than an extended episode of Walker: Texas Ranger combined with (literally) every kidnapping movie ever made.

It's just bad. And to see Chuck throwing a few listless punches while a similarly wardrobed stuntman clatters into a stack of cardboard boxes, it makes me think that, if only by comparison, The Cutter makes a flick like Invasion U.S.A. look like an absolute masterpiece.

The DVD

Video: Anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1), with a decidedly TBS-ish color scheme limply flowing off the screen.

Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 (English or French), with optional subtitles in the same two languages.

Extras: Just a bunch of trailers for Chasing Ghosts, End Game, The Russian Specialist, The Escapist, The Net 2.0, The Hunt for Eagle One, Black Dawn, The Delta Force, Missing in Action, An Eye For An Eye, Memory of a Killer, and "Action Trailer."

Final Thoughts

Directed by a guy who debuted with one half-decent flick (1984's Flashpoint) before embarking on a career full of TV cheese and action schlock, and written by a first-timer, The Cutter is the epitome of all things cinematically generic. Sure, we all still dig Chuck Norris, but these days he should stick to the comedic cameos -- and retire from the unconvincing action crap already.

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