Happy birthday, Dolph Lundgren: The Swedish Destroying Engineer

1410187582114_wps_26_Dolph_Lundgren_in_stills_Let’s be clear. Dolph Lundgren has starred in 72 movies and has kicked ass in every single one of them. He doesn’t care where it is shot at or going. He will show up and kick and add a little bravado in the end. Today, Dolph turned 58 years young, and he isn’t slowing down. Many will always know him as Ivan Drago, the Russian tank who slaughtered Apollo Creed and challenged Rocky Balboa to a cock measuring contest in Moscow. To me, he is one of the last action heroes. Unlike Arnold, he didn’t go into politics and waste his twilight years. Unlike Sly Stallone, he didn’t inject all kinds of drugs into himself and stick to sequels. He didn’t disappear like Don The Dragon Wilson or Chuck Norris. He just kept working and produced these signature titles.

Silent Trigger. Hidden Assassin. The Sweeper. Bridge of Dragons. Jill Rips. The Last Patrol. Agent Red. Direct Action. Fat Slags. Hidden Agenda(not a sequel to Hidden Assassin). The Final Inquiry. Direct Contact(not a sequel to Direct Action). Command Performance. The Killing Machine. Small Apartments. Stash House. One in the Chamber. The Package. Legendary. Battle of the Diamond. Ambushed. Blood of Redemption. Puncture Wounds. Riot. Shark Lake. War Pigs. 

NONE of those are made up titles. All are legit direct to DVD action junkie entries. Reading off Lundgren’s film resume is like asking a drunk stoned action fanatic to list off dreamy titles they thought of while playing video games. Lundgren has done it all. He’s knocked Sly out, fire guns along Sly and Arnold and went against Van Damme in Universal Soldier. He has played the Punisher and fought crime alongside Brandon Lee. When he isn’t busy being an Expendable or having bit roles in Coen Films like Hail Caesar, Lundgren is scaring home intruders via picture. That’s right, someone broke into his home one time, saw a picture of him with his family and immediately ran the fuck out. They ran all the way to the next state.

In addition to playing wavy blonde haired heroes in Trigger Bridge Agent Killing Package Redemption Legendary Pigs cinema adventures, he is a smart dude. He has an IQ over 160 and is an MIT graduate. He isn’t lunk head who will break you. He can tell you how your body works and solve science and mathematical equations while kicking your ass. The man is a gem.

You can smirk when he picks up Arnold’s laundry in the Kindergarten Cop sequel, but know one thing. Lundgren knows exactly what he is and never stopped working. He will be kicking and pumping out sludgy one liners when you are pumping gas into your car years from now. It’s what he does. It may happen in Indonesia, Russia, Iraq, Delaware or possibly Mexico. He isn’t a pretender. The dumbest thing one can say about action stars is that they are bad actors. Action stars don’t act. They kick ass and make you believe it. Lundgren never acted a day in his life and doesn’t need to. Let’s see if Russell Crowe can raise his feet above his head. No, he can’t.

I’ll never forget hearing Stallone tell the story of how Lundgren sent him to the hospital during Rocky 4. Before they started filming the boxing scenes, Sly idiotically told Dolph to come at him for real for 45 seconds. Lundgren hit him so hard that he sent Sly to intensive care for nine days. The writer, director and star had to be flown back to America because Lundgren hit him so hard that his heart banged against his ribs and started to swell. True story. It’s not wise to mess with Dolph.

Prepare for more Lundgren too. He had six releases in 2015 and will have six more in 2016, including Female Fight Club, Larceny and Don’t Kill It.

Just don’t piss him off or break into his home. Call ahead. He may spare your life and give you a free copy of the 2005 classic The Russian Specialist. 

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