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‘I Come in Peace’

By Richard Harrington
Washington Post Staff Writer
October 01, 1990


Craig R. Baxley
Dolph Lundgren;
Brian Benben;
Betsy Brantley
Under 17 restricted

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It's apparent that the producers of "I Come in Peace" chose the title purely to set up a punch line in their previews (" ... and you go in pieces"). Still, director Craig Baxley has fashioned a moderately entertaining police thriller whose twist comes from the revelation that its major bad guy is a drug dealer from outer space. In fact, he's already being pursued by an alien cop whose explosive bullets are always just six inches behind. Apparently there are no barbers in outer space, but there must be a Britches Great Outdoors, because both aliens look like extras from "The Long Riders 1990."

Dolph Lundgren plays the human hero, independent narcotics detective Jack Caine, who stumbles onto the visitors and then has a hard time persuading anyone to take him seriously (Lundgren knows this problem quite well). As Houston citizens fall, Lundgren enlists the help of a stuffy FBI agent (Brian Benben of HBO's "Dream On," sort of a poor man's Kevin Costner) and his off-again, on-again girlfriend (Betsy Brantley). She's a coroner.

Writers Jonathan Tydor and Leonard Maas Jr. imbue the script with dollops of dry humor, such as a yuppie drug-dealing gang, the White Boys, who dress in somber suits and worry about getting blood on their office carpets.

The plot is a convoluted mix of "Liquid Sky," "Alien Nation," "The Hidden" and "Terminator," but "Peace" is a more subtle construction of influences than the recent "Hardware." Matthias Hues is sufficiently menacing as the alien drug dealer with a penchant for extracting endorphins from his victims' brains after shooting their hearts full of pure heroin. He also has a nasty "razor-thin, razor-sharp" weapon that resembles a CD: compact death, it goes for the jugular every time. This film, unfortunately, too often settles for going for the jocular.

"I Come in Peace" is rated R and contains some graphic gore.

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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