Snipes, Gene Simmons suffer dumb sci-fi 'Armed Response'
Popular actor Wesley Snipes produced and starring in an ambitious but underwhelmingly silly flying saucer invasion thriller, "The Recall," unleashed upon the Northwest suburbs last month.
This weekend, he produces and stars in the generically titled "Armed Response," a muddled science-fiction AI horror story, the first of two projects in a multi-picture deal between WWE Studios and Snipes' new movie production company Maandi Media Entertainment.
Directed without suspense or dramatic tension of any degree by former actor John Stockwell, "Armed Response" involves elite military operatives who arrive at the Temple, a supersecret base in Louisiana where enhanced interrogation techniques include reaching into suspects' minds and snatching information.
These generic military figures, among them Anne Heche, WWE star Seth Rollins and Snipes, spend a long half-hour searching the Temple, room ... by room ... by room ...
What happened to the people might have been a delicious detective case for us to solve along with the investigators, except that we already know that an unseen force has wiped out the bunker during the opening scene, presumably because screenwriter Matt Savelloni thought a massacre would be a more effective way to snare viewers than a provocative missing persons mystery.
The investigators' only clue: a sole survivor, a tortured terrorist suspect played by KISS' Gene Simmons.
"It is a devil's house you built!" he says of the Temple.
What follows can charitably be called a ridiculous plot to a very bad "X-Files" episode merging AI villainy with severe guilt over assorted Afghanistan war crimes.
"It's the Temple!" a soldier shouts. "It's judged us deserving of punishment! The question is why?"
Inflicting 93 minutes of intolerable dumbness upon us would be a good answer.
Starring: Wesley Snipes, Anne Heche, Gene Simmons, Seth Rollins
Directed by: John Stockwell
Other: A Saban Films release. At the AMC Woodridge 18. Rated R for language and violence. 93 minutes