15th Nov2019

‘Cross: Rise of the Villains’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Brian Austin Green, Lori Heuring, Vinnie Jones, Danny Trejo, Patrick Durham, Tim Abell, André Gordon, Juhahn Jones, Asa Holley, Jenny Cooper, Carson Lee Bradshaw, D.B. Sweeney, Lou Ferrigno, Jeremy London, Eric Roberts, Jordan Rachel, Paige Annette, Tom Sizemore, Jack August, Manu Intiraymi | Written by Patrick Durham | Directed by Patrick Durham, Paul G. Volk

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Sooooo… Cross 3. It’s safe to say NO-ONE ever expected this, even though it was hinted at in the last film! In fact how the hell, did star Brian Austin Green and writer/co-director Patrick Durham even manage to secure the funding to produce this film? No-one ever really wanted the 2017 Cross sequel, Cross Wars, and I have no doubt the audience for a THIRD film is even smaller.

But here we are, it’s 2019 and the low-budget superhero series continues, obviously still trying to ride the superhero hype wave – whether comic-book movie loving audiences will bite this time remains to be seen but if they do watch this, I doubt they’ll be back for a fourth film… This one is even worse than the last. The cinematographer/DP can’t even keep the bloody camera still when needed this time!

[Sidenote: I did spot on IMdB that a fourth Cross film is apparently in the works… Someone needs to give me the number of the account on these films so he can work out my finances, because the budget for these films must be getting smaller each time but they’re now churning them out and getting distribution!]

Though you have to give it to Durham and co., they can certainly put together a cast. And this one is even more star-studded than the last! Returning from previous films are Vinnie Jones, Lori Heuring (who seemingly ONLY appears in Cross films these days), Danny Trejo, and Tom Sizemore. And they’ve added even more names to the cast, including: Lour Ferrigno, Jeremy London, Eric Roberts and D.B. Sweeney! I know money’s tight but guys, seriously? I posited last time that the big(ger) named stars where either persuaded with a sh*t ton of money for a few hours work; or someone on the production crew had dirt on everyone appearing in the movie and they couldn’t say no. That feels totally true here too – even moreso given the larger cast!

This time round we get pretty much the same as the last film. Cross 3, or to give it the DVD title, Cross: Rise of the Villains, continues the story of Callan (Green), the street-level hero armed with a powerful ancient Cross amulet, and his team of weapons experts – who battle local thugs and heinous criminals in and around LA. Ruthless villain named Muerte (Trejo) is back again too – and still attacking Callan’s crew. Only this time he also enlists the help of Drago (Manu Intiraymi) who he arms with a red amulet, the amulet of DEATH! So what does Cross do? Well he does the only thing a hero can do in a desperate situation. He joins forces with his once mortal enemy, Gunnar (Vinnie Jones), who was trying to KILL HIM in the last two movies, to help save the city.

Along the way we get bad CGI, terrible acting and that STUPID plot idea from the last movie. A group of D&D types literally reading the comic book we’re watching, and the film keeps cutting back to them as they read and discuss what’s happening. Again. Durham really needs to either make a REAL comic (speaking of which the comic-style intro/credits is the BEST part of this film by far) instead of these terrible movies – hey, at least his budget would stretch further on the page – or stop using this ridiculous contrivance altogether.

Last time round I said that the best way to describe these films was that they were sub-par The Asylum superhero movies and I still stand by that. In fact The Asylum’s superhero movies, even though I love them and many don’t, especially the Avengers Grimm films and spin-offs, feel like Marvel-scale masterpieces in comparison.

Honestly, I masochistically bought AND sat through all 100 minutes of this film so you don’t have to. The only time, and I do mean only time, you should ever watch this is if you too are a masochist and you need to sleep, because this one will knock you out from sheer boredom!

Cross: Rise of the Villains is out now on DVD in the US. Hopefully it won’t make it’s way across the pond like the last one and the rest of the UK will be spared the indignation of watching this dross.

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