Delivered (2011)

US / 89 minutes / color / Nelson Madison, Indie Rights Dir: Michael Madison Pr: Linda Nelson Scr: Branson Manbeck Story: Linda Nelson, Michael Madison Cine: Ricky Fosheim Cast: Michael Madison, Jeanette Steiner, Toshi Toda, Alana Stewart, Chic Daniel, Ludwig Manukian, Robert Rusler, Kenny Lombino, Tadamori Yagi, Brian McGuire, David Wolf Perez, Brendon Walsh.

Fighting in Fallujah, US soldier Shane Green (Madison) would have died had it not been for the heroism of his CO, Jack Roberts (Daniel). Back in the US, Shane slowly recuperates under the care of his mom, Marilyn (Stewart); during his absence in Iraq the family home has been foreclosed on, and Marilyn has been reduced to renting an apartment for them in a crap neighborhood of LA. Shane coasts awhile, rejoicing in the fact that his mother has preserved for him his dad’s 1967 Mustang . . .

Delivered 2011

The Mojave Desert is the real star of Delivered (2011).

We see a couple of examples of Shane having difficulty working through his PTSD—he beats the shit out of an old friend insistent upon hearing Shane’s war stories, and in a very funny sequence a casual burglar discovers the hard way that robbing the home of an Iraq vet is a bad move—before Shane decides it might be a good idea to get a job. A friend suggests he ask the friend’s uncle, Sarkis (Manukian), to employ him as a courier. At first Shane refuses on discovering it’s a condition of employment that he carry a gun; when he finds out that Marilyn is trying to hold down two jobs and is still months behind with the rent, he swallows his pride.

It’s pretty obvious to Shane that his courier tasks are on the wrong side of the law (shades of Le TRANSPORTEUR [2002; vt The Transporter]), but they seem harmless until one day Sarkis insists he arm himself to bear a large quantity of cash from the home of revoked proctologist Dr. Herman Da Luca (Lombino) for the purchase from Japanese gangster Katsuro (Toda) of an art treasure, a clay tablet stolen from a Baghdad museum.

En route to carrying out this job, Shane pauses at a truckstop in whose parking lot he rescues pretty Cindy (Steiner) from being molested by a scumbag trucker, Martin (Walsh). The two overnight at a motel; next morning Shane goes to deliver the cash to Katsuro, is ambushed by Katsuro’s son Katsuro Jr. (Yagi), and kills the latter in a shootout, then goes on the lam with Cindy. And where better to find shelter from a vengeful Katsuro Sr. than with Wiggs (Rusler), a friend of Shane’s old army savior Jack Roberts?

It’s fairly obvious throughout that this isn’t a big-budget project. Madison is a somewhat wooden central figure, yet this may have been a deliberate move since it allows some very good acting—notably by Stewart, Manukian and Steiner—to spark off against him. Unfortunately, the screenplay is too clever for its own good, selfconsciously introducing noirish twists that might better have been left on the cutting-room floor; for example, when it proves that “Cindy” is really Jack’s daughter Jill, and that Jack and Wiggs have been godgaming Shane from the outset, credibility trots to the nearest window and jumps. Even so, this is a better movie than many.

One of the sillier moments happens in the movie’s opening sequence, as Shane, Jack and another, shell-shocked soldier shoot it out with insurgents in Fallujah. “I can’t hear anything!” yells the deafened soldier. “Stay down!” responds Jack. And the soldier obeys.

On Delivered

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