In the 80’s there was a particular action movie genre that was very popular: the buddy cop movie. There were ofcourse the classics, such as Lethal Weapon, Beverly Hills Cop and 48 Hours. Ah, those were the days. Thinking back on those movies, all I can say is that they definitely don’t make them like they used to. Rocky IV star Dolph Lundgren, also made a buddy cop movie that some people might remember. It dates back to 1991 and it was called Showdown in Little Tokyo, also starring the late Brandon Lee. I can’t really call it a classic, but it was a pretty enjoyable action B-movie. Now, 25 years later, Dolph Lundgren is still making action movies, and in 2004 he starred in another buddy cop movie (well sort of) called Skin Trade.
In this movie Lundgren plays the role of a police officer called Nick Cassidy. He is trying to bring down a bunch of human traffickers spearheaded by the ruthless Victor Dragovich. When Nick suffers a personal tragedy orchestrated by Victor, he pretty much loses it. In his quest to find Dragovich, Nick travels to Thailand where Victor was last seen. However arriving there, Cassidy soon get’s into trouble with the local law, when he is framed for a crime he did not commit. Nick finds himself at the wrong end of the gun, and it seems that his mission to bring down Dragovich might end before it has even started. There is a small chance that Nick might be able to get some help from Thai detective Tony Vitayakul. The only thing that he needs to do is prove his innocence to him, but that is easier said than done….
This film is a B-movie, but I dare say it is a very enjoyable one, and it really has the feel of an 80’s action flick. It also features a pretty impressive cast, with the likes of Ron Perlman and Peter Weller, who have small, but enjoyable roles. The action however comes from Lundgren himself, and Thai superstar Tony Jaa. This lastnamed actor has some impressive martial arts at his disposal, and if you haven’t already, check out the movie Ong Bak, to truly see what he is capable of. The story in this movie is not particularly noteworthy, but ofcourse the reason you watch a movie like this, is for the action, and it does deliver on that front. Even though Lundgren is in his late fifties, he can still make a mean action flick, and I always have respect for something like that. Sure, this is not an A-grade movie, but if you like to travel back in time for a while to the simple action days of the 80’s, this movie will definitely be entertaining enough.
I give Skin Trade a 7 out 10 score.