½*/**** Image D Sound C
starring Sean Patrick Flannery, Arnold Vosloo, Ursula Karven, Tim Thomerson
screenplay by Terry Cunningham, Paul Birkett
directed by Terry Cunningham
by Walter Chaw A mosaic of stock footage and terrible acting that makes Extreme Limits look decent, Con Express is a Jim Wynorski cheapie that happens to be directed this time around by a pretender to the "king of knock-off schlock" crown named "Terry Cunningham." Titled with honesty, Con Express is a scam promising thrills that takes you for a stultifying ride. It's a direct-to-video howler promising the guy who played The Mummy (Arnold Vosloo) playing Anton, a villain of the non-zombie variety (a rogue Russian general--as if there were any other kind) again bent on taking over the world. Arrayed against him are beautiful Slavic agent Natalya (Ursula Karven) and hunky customs agent Brooks (Sean Patrick Flannery), who (gasp) develop romantic feelings for one another even though they start out hating one another. Between South African Vosloo, German Karven, Enemy at the Gates, and K-19, I begin to wonder if there are any such things as actual Russians or if they're just a mythological Hollywood bogey manufactured as a bottomless well of nostalgic Red menace-dom.