"Joshua Tree (aka Army of One) (1993/Blu-ray & DVD Combo/Shout! Factory)" Review

It’s high-caliber action from start to finish when exotic car runner Wellman Santee (Dolph Lundgren The Expendables) goes gunning for his money and running for his life after his partner is killed during a botched heist. Sensational stunts and spectacular special effects push the action into overdrive as he captures a beautiful hostage (Kristian Alfonso) and takes off across the desert in a high-speed chase. Six thousand square miles of sand and dozens of turbo-charged super cars set the stage for a bloody, bullet-riddled showdown with a ruthless killer.

Review: Like I said in my previous review of Red Scorpion awhile back that during the late 80's and early 90's Dolph Lundgren was on fire and constantly was working. Back in 1993 the film I am reviewing here today was released under the name "Army of One" which is the one film of his that went under my radar for nearly 20 years. I know back when it was released I would of loved it because it has everything that an action of that era should have. Now that is not to say that this many years later that I didn't love it as well because I sure as hell did! Joshua Tree has all that I like to see in an action movie, car chases, explosions, t&a, shoot outs, corrupt cops, revenge, and a bad ass action hero. Well in this case I would possibly classify Dolph's character as an anti-hero.
One thing I want to get out of the way real quick is that I think the title "Army of One" does work better for this title in some ways, but I get why it goes as the name "Joshua Tree" and that is due to it being in the desert where there are joshua trees all over and he also has one tattooed on his arm. Army of One doesn't work because he does get some help in the film. With all the elements that I previously mentioned combined with the great cast really made this film that much more awesome to me. Some of the more notable cast members include Dolph Lundgren (Punisher/Red Scorpion), Geoffrey Lewis (Every Which Way But Loose) who is more known to the younger audiences for his role in The Devil's Rejects, George Segal (The Cable Guy), Kristian Alfonso (Days of Our Lives), and genre film icon Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead/From Beyond). Ken Foree is the one I would of loved to of seen more of due to his awesome screen presence, but I understand for his character that of course could not be.

The action sequences are simply awesome in this film, so awesome that I seen something that I have never seen done in a film before and that is a part where Wellman (Dolph Lundgren) sets a guy on fire then kicks him into crates of what I think was paint thinner and it explodes, now that guy was truly a human torch! Another thing that stood out to me was the awesome car chase with the two Ferrari's through the desert. In the end all the chases where awesome. Also they amped up the blood and brutality of the violence, there is so much blood getting splattered all over the place it puts alot of slasher films to shame. Overall this was a very good action film that stands out as one of my favorites of it's time!

The presentation is like almost all of the Shout Factory/Scream Factory releases and look excellent. The picture is clear and has some damn good fine detail. Now I can't properly compare it to any other DVD or VHS sources due to not seeing it until now, but I still think this is probably the best you will see it on any current home video format! The audio is great as well and gives you a choice between a 5.1 and 2.0 stereo which both of course are HD audio and sound great. Also like this companies other releases you get a good amount of special features which include a great retrospective of the film! If you like this film then I suggest you pick up this release!

-Daniel "Damnation" Lee

Director: Vic Armstrong
Genre: Action
Blu-ray/DVD Release Year: 2013
Theatrical Release Year: 1993
Time Length: 101 mins.

Company: Scream Factory (Shout! Factory)