'Come in Peace' escapes reality and your memory

September 28, 1990|By Stephen Hunter | Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic

' 'I' Come in Peace'

Starring Dolph Lundgren.

Directed by Craig R. Baxley.

Released by Columbia/Triumph.

Rated R.

... **

The question in " 'I' Come in Peace" is not who did it, but who punctuated it?

That is the correct title. Just look at the advertisement. It's not "I Come in Peace," no, it's " 'I' Come in Peace." Why? What can possibly be meant by hanging quotations around the pronoun within the actual title itself? Do they mean to suggest that the speaker is not quite human and therefore his usage of the first-person pronoun is conditional? Or do they just not "get" how quote marks work? Or, maybe, that's how they punctuate things in outer space.

In all other respects, the movie is quite routine, considering it stars Ivan Drago and Jessica Rabbit.

With that much going for it, " 'I' Come in Peace" can't miss.

As for Ivan Drago and Jessica Rabbit, well, of course Ivan, the bulbous Russky who was pulped by Sylvester Stallone in the cause of glasnost in "Rocky IV," is really the large Swedish-German-American lump known as Dolph Lundgren. And Jessica Rabbit is an actress named Betsy Brantley who, the press notes inform us, served as the body model for the animators of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," meaning, I suppose, she stood in for Jessica and the animators obliterated her with their paints. Replaced by a rabbit! Talk about your bad career moves!

Anyway, that's where the interesting things stop coming in " 'I' Come in Peace." The movie is routine action fare, generic and marginally rousing; not terrible, not great, just there. Dolph plays a tough Houston narcotics cop, teamed with a fussy Fed (well played by Brian Benben), in search of some strange dealer who is massacring the other players in the burg. He's from out of town. Like, way out of town.

This chap looks like a large, angry Norwegian searching for smorgasbord and ticked that there are no Scandinavian restaurants in Houston. Feed him a sardine, quick! He's armed with a CD disk from hell; he kills by frisbeeing the disk into and through flesh, buildings, the universe, then he sticks his victims with strange tubes and machines and sucks fluids from them. He's your favorite creature, the embalmer from Mars.

No, he's not. He's just from out there, and his purpose is to steal a natural chemical produced by the human body for shipment back to his world. He sees the human race as a collection of drug labs on legs.

Dolph, his sidekick, and the town coroner (Brantley, a bit long in tooth for the Palooka-like Lundgren) have to track him down, assisted or impeded by other cops and Feds. There are many gun battles, a few car chases, all competent but never quite believable, and then the movie is over. As it finishes, it vanishes from memory, like a bubble popping. You won't remember a thing, "I" guarantee you.

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