I Come in Peace
|I Come in Peace|
Promotional film poster
|Directed by||Craig R. Baxley|
|Produced by||Jeff Young|
|Written by||Jonathan Tydor
Leonard Maas Jr.
|Music by||Jan Hammer|
|Editing by||Mark Helfrich|
|Distributed by||Triumph Releasing Corporation (US)|
|Running time||91 minutes|
I Come in Peace (initially produced and released internationally as Dark Angel) is a 1990 science fiction action thriller feature film about a rule-breaking vice cop who becomes involved in the investigation of mysterious drug-related murders on the streets of Houston, Texas. The film was directed by Craig R. Baxley, and stars Dolph Lundgren, Brian Benben, Betsy Brantley and David Ackroyd.
The original title is Dark Angel; the film was planned to be released under the same title in the United States (which had the latest release) but was renamed by Triumph Releasing to I Come in Peace because of two other movies entitled The Dark Angel (from 1925 and 1935), according to executive producer Mark Damon (in a 1993 interview with UK magazine Impact) who preferred the original title.
Houston cop Jack Caine (Dolph Lundgren) does not let police procedure prevent him pursuing his mission to wipe out the White Boys, a gang of white collar drug dealers who killed his partner while Caine was stopping a convenience store robbery.
The White Boys disguise their narcotics trafficking behind rows of expensive luxury sports cars, executive level jobs, and flashy designer suits. Led by the vicious but urbane Victor Manning, the White Boys operate above accusation but not suspicion. Law enforcement knows they are dirty, but they cannot prove it. Caine is determined to bring them down.
When the White Boys steal a shipment of heroin from a federal evidence warehouse, they hide evidence of their involvement by blowing up the facility, killing or injuring numerous people. This brings in the FBI, which becomes involved in Caine's vendetta against the White Boys. Caine is partnered with a by-the-book partner, FBI agent Arwood "Larry" Smith (Brian Benben). They investigate the drug theft and murder of several key White Boys soldiers. Smith wants Caine to follow official procedure, but Caine ignores him. He disregards Smith's interference and begins to suspect that the Feds are investigating more than just the White Boys.
Caine’s instincts are proven right. The first clue is the murder weapon in the White Boys’ massacre: a hyper-fast, super-sharp vibrating disk like nothing they have ever seen. The second is a series of drug-related deaths has everyone very puzzled. The corpses are full of heroin, but the cause of death is not drug overdose. Caine and Smith do not follow the manual in their pursuit of answers. They end up on the trail of Talec (Matthias Hues), a vicious extraterrestrial drug dealer.
Talec shoots his victims full of drugs and then uses alien technology to extract endorphins from their brains, synthesizing them into a substance to be used by addicts on his home planet. He is pursued by an alien cop named Azeck (Jay Bilas), who warns Caine and Smith that if Talec is not stopped, thousands of intergalactic drug dealers will start to come to Earth to slaughter its population. Putting aside their differences, Smith and Caine team up to take Talec down.
I Come In Peace was released in the United States on September 28, 1990. It was released as Dark Angel in other territories.
Home video release
After the film's theatrical run, it was released on VHS and laserdisc in 1991 by Media Home Entertainment. A Region 2 (widescreen) and Region 4 (fullscreen) DVD is available in Europe, Japan and Australia. On September 2011, in the US a Manufactured On Demand widescreen DVD from MGM Classics Collection was available online. It was released under its original title, "Dark Angel".
A Blu-ray was released on August 27, 2013 by Shout! Factory as part of their Scream Factory label. This edition contains a 24 minutes retrospective featurette with new interview of the director Craig Baxley, Dolph Lundgren and Brian Benben, as well as a gallery of rare vintage posters, lobby cards and stills.
Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 14% of 14 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 3.6/10. Contemporary reviews were generally mixed. Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times called it "stale through and through, derived from countless cop-buddy formula thrillers, drenched in violence and devoid of so much as a whiff of real life." Caryn James of The New York Times wrote, "This story turns out to be much more mundane than its outrageously clever premise." Dave Kehr of the Chicago Tribune wrote that the film's imaginative weapons and humor make it an entertaining crowd-pleaser but criticized its cynical violence and lack of moral consciousness. Richard Harrington of The Washington Post compared it to Hardware and said its influences are more subtle, though it suffers from using too much humor. Chris Hicks of the Deseret News wrote that the film "isn't as bad as it has every right to be" and "provides some fun for fans of the genre". Lou Cedrone of The Baltimore Sun wrote, "Apart from the gore, I Come in Peace is an amusing mixture of action, science-fiction and comedy." Gary Thompson of the Philadelphia Daily News said that it is a better than usual rip-off of The Terminator with some original ideas. Time Out London wrote, "With an upbeat script and a healthy sense of humour, this is an unashamedly ridiculous affair with moderate ambitions and matching success."
Modern reviews have been more enthusiastic. Patrick Cooper of Bloody Disgusting rated it 4/5 stars and wrote that the film "is ripe for cult rediscovery." Anthony Arrigo of Dread Central rated it 4/5 stars and called it "one helluva fun time" and "a wildly entertaining, often brutal ride". Fred Topel of CraveOnline rated it 7/10 and wrote, "I Come In Peace is probably as good as it gets for theatrical leading man Dolph, and I highly recommend it." David Johnson of DVD Verdict called it "a gonzo slice of B-grade sci-fi tomfoolery". Ian Jane of DVD Talk rated it 3.5/5 stars and wrote that "it's about as brainless as an action movie can get but you can't help but have fun with it."
- Arrigo, Anthony (2013-08-19). "Dark Angel (I Come in Peace) (Blu-ray)". Dread Central. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- "I Come In Peace". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- Barton, Steve (2011-08-26). "Fox and MGM Opening their Vaults and Delivering the MOD Goods! Early Sneak Peek: Quatermass! I Come in Peace! Sugar Hill! And More!". Dread Central. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- Gingold, Michael (2013-06-06). "“Q,” ’80s slashers and Dolph on Scream Factory Blu-rays/DVDs". Fangoria. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- Foy, Scott (2012-04-07). "B-Sides: If I Come in Peace, Will You Touch Me Tonight?". Dread Central. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- "I Come In Peace". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- Thomas, Kevin (1990-09-28). "MOVIE REVIEW : 'I Come in Peace' Should Go Away". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- James, Caryn (1990-09-28). "I Come in Peace (1990)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- Kehr, Dave (1990-09-28). "Sci-fi Cop Film 'I Come In Peace' Comes Well-armed". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- Harrington, Richard (1990-10-01). "'I Come in Peace'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- Hicks, Chris (1990-10-09). "Film review: I Come in Peace". Deseret News. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- Cedrone, Lou (1990-09-28). "Gore spoils otherwise fun 'Come in Peace'". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- Thompson, Gary (1990-09-28). "Alien Drug Dealer Doesn't 'Come In Peace'". The Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- "Dark Angel". Time Out London. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- Cooper, Patrick (2013-08-17). "Dark Angel". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- Topel, Fred (2013-08-27). "Blu-ray Review: Dark Angel (a.k.a. I Come in Peace)". CraveOnline. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- Johnson, David (2013-08-01). "Dark Angel (Blu-ray)". DVD Verdict. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
- Jane, Ian (2013-08-27). "Dark Angel". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2014-01-03.