There’s a serial killer on the streets of Los Angeles who is murdering young Russian woman. The police are at a standstill, no clues are left, the only thing he leaves behind is a single black rose. Captain Dalano (Robert Davi) is desperate to catch him so he decides to try something a bit outside the box. He gets in touch with the captain of the Russian police force in Moscow who sends him one of their best, Major Vlad Kazatov (Alexander Nevsky). He’s a fish out of water in L.A. but his partner Det. Emily Smith (Kristanna Loken) is there to keep him on the right path. With the body count rising, they will have to combine the way they do things and catch the killer before he finds his next target.
BLACK ROSE feels as if it’s a pilot episode for a television series. I mean this as a good thing. The characters are all very likable and I wanted to see more of them. The film is a tad bit short and maybe even predictable but it’s also highly entertaining. My main gripe is that when I was really getting in to who these two main characters were, it was over. The cast was fantastic together, Kristanna Loken and Alexander Nevsky have a real chemistry. Loken really appears to be enjoying herself in the role and is criminally underrated as an actress. The supporting cast of Adrian Paul and Robert Davi deliver the goods but I cannot tell a lie, I was disappointed in what can only be described as a cameo for Matthias Hues. I’m sure his appearance was some sort of favor to Nevsky but he has portrayed some memorable lead villains and would have liked to have seen his role expanded. BLACK ROSE feels like a late 80’s action thriller with all the proper elements in place. It’s a little light on the action but the story is quite fun. It’s like RED HEAT without all the gun fights. For a modestly budgeted film, the cinematography is top notch, a cut above what you’re used to. Nevsky also directs the film, showing astute confidence in his choices. The film was executive produced by Sheldon Lettich (screenwriter of BLOODSPORT and RAMBO III).
BLACK ROSE is a solid thriller with several clever ideas. Aside from the finale being predictable and a lack of mindless action, it’s still much better than expected and a film well worth viewing.