Red Scorpion is a dull, below-average action pic, lensed in Swaziland.
Out-of-date screenplay [from a story by Robert Abramoff, producer Jack Abramoff, and Arne Olsen] has Scandinavian star Dolph Lundgren playing a Russian special services officer ordered by his nasty commander (Irish thesp T.P. McKenna) to kill the rebel leader of a fictional African country. Lundgren fails in his mission and is tortured by Cubans.
Under the guidance of a knowing, mystical bushman (Regopstaan, obviously patterned on the hero of The Gods Must Be Crazy) who tattoos a scorpion on Dolph’s chest, Lundgren realizes the commies are oppressing the Africans. Anticlimax has this Nordic giant leading the otherwise defeated rebels to defeat the combined Russian/Cuban might.
Joseph Zito’s sluggish direction lingers on nonessentials. Tediousness could have been alleviated by dropping at least a reel’s worth of trekking across the African desert. Lundgren provides little more than sustained beefcake.