Houston cop Jack Caine will not let police procedure prevent him pursuing his mission to wipe out the White Boys, a gang of white collar drug dealers who killed his partner while Caine was stopping a convenience store robbery.
The White Boys disguise their narcotics trafficking behind rows of expensive luxury sports cars, executive level jobs, and flashy designer suits. Led by the vicious but urbane Victor Manning, the White Boys operate above accusation but not suspicion. Law enforcement knows they are dirty, but they cannot prove it. Caine is determined to bring them down. Caine's superior is tired of his unusual and improper tactics. Meanwhile, Caine's girlfriend, coroner Diane Pallone, wants him to make a stronger commitment to their relationship.
When the White Boys steal a shipment of heroin from a federal evidence warehouse, they hide evidence of their involvement by blowing up the facility, killing or injuring numerous people. This brings in the FBI, which becomes involved in Caine's vendetta against the White Boys. Caine is partnered with a by-the-book partner, FBI agent Arwood "Larry" Smith. They investigate the drug theft and murder of several key White Boys soldiers. Smith wants Caine to follow official procedure, but Caine ignores him. He disregards Smith's interference and begins to suspect that the Feds are investigating more than just the White Boys.
Caine's instincts are proven right. The first clue is the murder weapon in the White Boys' massacre: a hyper-fast, super-sharp vibrating disk like nothing they have ever seen. The second is a series of drug-related deaths has everyone very puzzled. The corpses are full of heroin, but the cause of death is not drug overdose. Caine and Smith do not follow the manual in their pursuit of answers. They end up on the trail of Talec, a vicious extraterrestrial drug dealer.
Talec shoots his victims full of drugs and then uses alien technology to extract endorphins from their brains, synthesizing them into a substance to be used by addicts on his home planet. He is pursued by an alien cop named Azeck, who warns Caine and Smith that if Talec is not stopped, thousands of intergalactic drug dealers will start to come to Earth to slaughter its population. Putting aside their differences, Smith and Caine team up to take Talec down.Dolph Lundgren as Detective Jack Caine, a Houston police detective investigating a string of drug-related murders.
Brian Benben as Special Agent Arwood "Larry" Smith, an FBI agent and Caine's new partner.
Betsy Brantley as Diane Pallone, a coroner and Caine's girlfriend.
Matthias Hues as Talec, an extraterrestrial drug dealer.
Jay Bilas as Azeck, an extraterrestrial police officer. Unlike Talec, he is fluent in English.
Jim Haynie as Captain Malone, Caine's boss.
David Ackroyd as Inspector Switzer, Smith's boss.
Sherman Howard as Victor Manning, a white collar drug dealer and boss of the White Boys.
Sam Anderson as Warren, underboss of the White Boys.
Alex Morris Detective Ray Turner, Caine's original partner. He is killed by the White Boys during a sting operation.
The film also stars Mark Lowenthal as Bruce, an eccentric and paranoid scientist; Michael J. Pollard as Boner, a petty criminal; Jesse Vint as McMurphy, Talec's first victim; Mimi Cochran as a car mechanic; Jack Willis as a liquor store owner; Tony Brubaker as a garage sweeper; Brandon Smith as a market clerk; and Al Leong (credited as Albert Leong) as a luggage salesman who tries to rip-off the White Boys.
Screenwriter David Koepp was credited as Leonard Maas, Jr. Vision PDG was the only credited production company. In April 1989, after filming went two weeks over its deadline, the film's principal photography wrapped in Houston, Texas. Although the film was planned for release for August 3, 1990, it was eventually pushed back to September 28.
I Come In Peace was released in the United States on September 28, 1990. The film was released as Dark Angel in other territories.
After the film's theatrical run, it was released on VHS and laserdisc in 1991 by Media Home Entertainment. A Region 2 (widescreen) and Region 4 (fullscreen) DVD is available in Europe, Japan and Australia. On September 2011, in the US a Manufactured On Demand widescreen DVD from MGM Classics Collection was available online. It was released under its original title, "Dark Angel".
A Blu-ray was released on August 27, 2013 by Shout! Factory as part of their Scream Factory label. This edition contains a 24 minutes retrospective featurette with new interview of the director Craig Baxley, Dolph Lundgren and Brian Benben, as well as a gallery of rare vintage posters, lobby cards and stills.
The closing credits include Shooting Star's Touch Me Tonight, which had previously charted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 67.
Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 13% of 15 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 3.6/10. Contemporary reviews were generally negative. Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times called it "stale through and through, derived from countless cop-buddy formula thrillers, drenched in violence and devoid of so much as a whiff of real life." Caryn James of The New York Times wrote, "This story turns out to be much more mundane than its outrageously clever premise." Dave Kehr of the Chicago Tribune wrote that the film's imaginative weapons and humor make it an entertaining crowd-pleaser but criticized its cynical violence and lack of moral consciousness. Richard Harrington of The Washington Post compared it to Hardware and said its influences are more subtle, though it suffers from using too much humor. Chris Hicks of the Deseret News wrote that the film "isn't as bad as it has every right to be" and "provides some fun for fans of the genre". Lou Cedrone of The Baltimore Sun wrote, "Apart from the gore, I Come in Peace is an amusing mixture of action, science-fiction and comedy." Gary Thompson of the Philadelphia Daily News said that it is a better than usual rip-off of The Terminator with some original ideas. Time Out London wrote, "With an upbeat script and a healthy sense of humour, this is an unashamedly ridiculous affair with moderate ambitions and matching success."
Modern reviews have been more enthusiastic. Patrick Cooper of Bloody Disgusting rated it 4/5 stars and wrote that the film "is ripe for cult rediscovery." Anthony Arrigo of Dread Central rated it 4/5 stars and called it "one helluva fun time" and "a wildly entertaining, often brutal ride". Fred Topel of CraveOnline rated it 7/10 and wrote, "I Come In Peace is probably as good as it gets for theatrical leading man Dolph, and I highly recommend it." David Johnson of DVD Verdict called it "a gonzo slice of B-grade sci-fi tomfoolery". Ian Jane of DVD Talk rated it 3.5/5 stars and wrote that "it's about as brainless as an action movie can get but you can't help but have fun with it."
Matthias Hues announced a sequel in 2016.