The Movie Archive

The Peacekeeper

Movie Poster of The Peacekeeper

Directed by: Frédéric Forestier
Screenwriter(s): Robert Geoffrion, James H. Stewart
Starring: Dolph Lundgren, Montel Williams, Roy Schieder, Michael Sarrazin
Genre: Action
Country: USA
Year released: 1997
Running time: 1h 38m
Rating: 4 out of 10

Don’t confuse this DTV Dolph Lundgren nuclear-bomb-in-peril movie with the similarly-titled The Peacemaker, which features George Clooney and Nicole Kidman in a nuclear-bomb-in-peril plot. No matter how disappointed you may have been by George’s effort, Dolph’s will leave you even less fulfilled. This, by the way, is no fault of Dolph’s, who’s a better actor than most other DTV action stars (and more intelligent—he has a PhD in Engineering!).

Our Scandinavian hero is a major in the US Air Force with a heart. After air-dropping emergency aid to the Kurds after Desert Storm, he has to choose between a court martial or taking the job of being the guy who carries the case with the nuclear detonation codes for the President (Scheider—what is he doing slumming in tripe like this?). The Pres, it turns out, is like Colin Powell-lite, having been the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during Desert Storm but without having General Powell’s gravitas.

Through a convoluted series of plot twists, Dolph has the access codes stolen from him on the first day on the job by renegade ex-military types, led by chief nut-job Michael Sarrazin, whose resemblance to former President Jimmy Carter is becoming startling as the years go by. Sarrazin’s sidekicks are surprised when it turns out that their boss is not interested in using the nuclear weapons to hold the world to ransom for $50 million, but in getting revenge for being betrayed by his country in combat. Why they’re surprised that a major-class sociopath turns out to be slightly unhinged is anyone’s guess. It’s kind of like being surprised that ice-cream turns out to be a frozen dairy dessert-treat.

Anyway, having seized the nukes and bombed Mount Rushmore—or at least an obviously fake scale model thereof—it’s left to Dolph and secretly anti-war base commander Montel Williams to save Washington DC. Yes, that’s right, I did say Montel Williams, daytime TV’s resident soothingly-toned host, who looks tiny compared to Dolph. And I mean really tiny.

Dolph and Montel actually make a fun buddy movie pairing and there’s a few nice touches, such as a phone call between one of the bad guys and Dolph’s family which guarantees Dolph a bit of adult fun later on, but it’s generally indistinguishable from other nukes-in-peril DTV fare.