DVD Review: Randy Couture in Hijacked

Prior to The Expendables 2’s August release, expect a slew of the star’s lesser known new films to appear in shops. On the back of this, former UFC fighter turned actor, Randy Couture’s latest straight to DVD feature, Hijacked is just one of these new features, which despite occasional moments of fun, ultimately proves forgettable.

Hijacked stars Couture as Paul Ross (sadly not playing the brother of Jonathan), a US government agent working on an operation to crush global terrorist syndicate, The Tribe. After discovering the group’s latest target is billionaire industrialist, Bruce Lieb (Craig Fairbass), Ross finds himself on the entrepreneurs’ private jet tackling these ruthless hijackers.

The main selling point here is no doubt Couture’s presence and the actor does manage to remain consistently solid throughout Hijacked. He may not be the finest actor but Couture proves likeable and convincing when tackling down barrages of generic villains. After all, most of the world’s biggest action stars (Van Damme, Stallone, Lundgren, etc.) all faced and continue to face criticism of their acting ability – so it is clear that Couture is in excellent company. The role of Paul Ross has little depth or backstory and is essentially one that could have been played by thousands of actors but Couture does the best with the material he is given.

Brandon Nutt’s direction may be slick and polished, giving Hijacked an unrealistic, glossy B-Movie feel. This style (or lack of) alongside a generic script, truly makes the feature a bland and forgettable experience. One would think that with the airborne setting that Hijacked may prove an exciting twist on the conventional action-thriller, but unfortunately this narrative element is irrelevant – the action may as well have taken place on the ground. A lack of defining plot elements and set pieces are disguised through frequent moments of uninspired, bog-standard action that Steven Seagal could do in his sleep.

Hijacked also takes far too long to get into the airborne setting, devoting the first quarter of the film to a faux-James Bond style plot featuring Vinnie Jones as Ballard, a colleague of Ross’s. Jones’ minor appearance is probably a good thing, based on the forgettable screentime that was devoted to the clichéd character. There are also stodgy turns from fellow Brit, Craig Fairbass and bland leading ladies, Gina Phillips and Tiffany Dupont.

There is nothing wholly wrong with Hijacked and it may appeal to those seeking a quick bit of mindless entertainment. The main problem is that it just is not original or exciting enough to entertain for eighty-six minutes with a bland script, underutilising the airborne setting – the one interesting element . Nutt’s production may be slick and competently crafted, but it is Randy Couture’s convincing and likeable leading turn that is Hijacked’s strongest asset.

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