Blu-ray Review: One in the Chamber

Cuba Gooding Jr. probably got a raw deal when he won an Oscar for Jerry Maguire. He gave the performance of a lifetime, one that far exceeded his talents, and has never really done anything to recapture that magic. People have been waiting for him to show that sort of effervescent performance once more but the further we get from that film the more it’s clear: Cuba Gooding Jr. was a mediocre actor who for one film pulled out a performance he could never pull off again. He’s much like current Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson in a way; both came out of nowhere to log out of their mind performances for a short while and then their lack of talent came to bear with the weight of almost impossible expectations.

And I imagine Gooding is okay with that. Why? Because he never tried to do anything as grand as Maguire again and instead found his way into smaller films, many hitting the direct to video market. He became an Oscar winner who never dared aim that high again, getting smaller roles in bigger films on occasion, and has settled into a familiar pattern of being in bad films that only get near a movie theatre if a patron brings in the DVD in by accident. His latest is One in the Chamber.

Gooding stars as a cold blooded killer who screws up. In comes Dolph Lundgren as a generic Soviet era killer to clean up the mess of the Eastern European crime war that breaks out instead. Insert generic shenanigans and you have a fairly standard DTV action film. And that’s exactly what this is: a generic action film made on the cheap and making a profit on thin margins.

It doesn’t aim very high and doesn’t exceed those boundaries; you get exactly what’s advertised as everyone gives competent performances meant to not be embarrassing in the long run, nothing else. One in the Chamber is generic action, nothing more.

There’s a behind the scenes piece of little note and that’s it in terms of extras.

If you want a generic, no frills action thriller and don’t want it to be all that good this is your film.

Anchor Bay presents One in the Chamber . Directed by William Kaufman. Written by Benjamin Shahrabani, Derek Kolstad, Chad Law, Kevin Law. Starring Dolph Lundgren, Cuba Gooding Jr, Cluadia Bassols, Billy Murray. Running time: 91 minutes. Rated R. Released: August 21, 2012. Available at

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