Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 29, 2019)
Dolph Lundgren returns in 2019’s The Tracker. In 2008, Aiden Hakansson’s (Lundgren) wife (Anna Falchi) and daughter (Elisanna Mirabella) got kidnapped while on vacation in Italy.
Though Aiden attempted to rescue his family, this went awry and his wife and daughter got killed. The murderers escaped capture, and this continues to gnaw at Aiden all these years later.
The wounds reopen when Aiden hears from Detective Laterza, an Italian cop who claims to possess new evidence about the crime. However, he dies under suspicious circumstances before Aiden can meet with him.
All of this leads Aiden further into the intrigue. Aiden investigates and tries to sort out the dirty truth.
Funny how one film role can change a long-held opinion. For years and years, I viewed Lundgren as a largely talentless lunk whose career revolved around wooden performances as one-dimensional action characters.
And then I saw 2018’s Creed II. Lundgren reprised his most famous role as Ivan Drago and brought a shocking level of emotion and depth to the role.
In the brief period since I saw Creed II, I’ve found myself much more open to the notion that Lundgren can actually act. Could he follow up this breakout performance with another strong turn in Tracker?
Unfortunately, no. Perhaps Lundgren rose to the occasion in Creed II - or he lowers himself for direct-to-video fare like Tracker - but the positives I saw in 2018 don’t appear in this 2019 effort.
I can’t blame Lundgren for the movie’s flaws, as they go far deeper than his lethargic performance. Director Giorgio Serafini chooses to stage Tracker at a slow, deliberate pace that makes it a chore to watch.
In this case, “slow and deliberate” really means “sluggish and plodding”. I suspect Serafini figured the pace would add intrigue and drama, but instead, the project never catches the viewer’s attention.
We’re stuck with a slew of ill-defined characters and bland circumstances. These come with the potential for drama but Serafini portrays them in a such a lifeless manner that no thrills emerge.
Tracker opts for moody music and photography in an attempt to conceal the flaws in its foundation. These efforts don’t work, as they can’t overcome the basic monotony at the film’s core.
Despite the potential to become a solid revenge tale in the Taken mold, The Tracker fails to ignite. Slow and boring, the movie flops.