I for one love to go back and relive the enjoyment of the action films of my youth. With this Arnold Schwarzenegger title comes the film that one could make a healthy argument is the all time king of one liner movies.
“Let off some steam Bennett.”
“Don’t disturb my friend. He’s dead tired.”
or how about Arnold ripping into Bill Duke with, “I eat green berets for breakfast and right now I’m very hungry.”
Every one of them a winner and so many more to enjoy.
Director Mark Lester who had just given us a top notch exploitation effort with The Class of 1984 helms this action flick which is really the first of the genre that Arnold participated in. Sure he had done Conan and the Terminator but this put him on the side of right with an armory of weapons at his disposal. It’s a role we know he would go on play repeatedly in the ensuing years.
The fun begins rather quickly when Bill Duke working for Dan Hedaya begins to kill retired members of an elite military squad that Arnold ran. Very quickly Arnold’s daughter Alyssa Milano is kidnapped and unless our hulking star follows orders she’s dead. When he ducks out on a plane trip to carry out an assassination for Hedaya he has less than eleven hours to hunt down the baddies and rescue his daughter before they realize he’s gone rogue.
Rae Dawn Chong is the woman who finds herself in the midst of the chase and becomes a willing partner for Arnold as he launches his one man force against the likes of David Patrick Kelly. Kelly had the market cornered for weasel like characters back in the day from his turn in The Warriors forward. Here he’s such fun to watch as Sully. The man Arnie promises to kill last.
Pick a one liner from above to match with his death scene. I don’t see Kelly around too much in recent years but noticed he turned up in a rather eerie walk on in John Wick.
“What happened to Sully?”
“I let him go.”
As is to be expected no one is safe once the wrath of Schwarzenegger is let loose. He takes on an entire island military force on his way to Hedaya and chief baddie Vernon Wells. That’s actor Wells and not the baseball player. “Come on Bennett. Let’s dance.” During that climatic fight there’s just something hilarious about Arnold’s drive and determination as he grimaces and utters “Bull—t” as only he can.
While revisiting this big on explosions effort without the use of CGI ( I know, I know. I never stop ranting on the let downs of CGI) the similarities on the soundtrack between this and 48 HRS really jumped out at me. Not sure why I hadn’t noticed before but sure enough it’s the same credited composer James Horner.
One shouldn’t forget that this along with Rambo served as a template for the muscle bound heroes where cameras focused on gigantic biceps vibrating as the characters pulled the trigger on some sort of rapid firing machine guns. The novelty was done to death and satirized repeatedly when the likes of Charlie Sheen showed up in Hot Shots and it’s sequel.
No classic here but if you were around when the product of Arnold Schwarzenegger hit movie screens and you bought into the killing machine characters that quickly developed in film then this one’s hard not to like. “I’ll be back Bennett.”
Arnold’s not only ripped here but man is he ever young.
Lastly here’s Arnie’s take on singer Boy George. “Why don’t they just call him Girl George? It would cut down on the confusion. “
This is one of those 80s films that are so stupid but so much fun. I read a dissection of all the deaths on a site a few years ago, thought you might enjoy.
Thanks for the link. As you say, it’s fun and growing up in the era of the one liners this one is near the top for tongue in cheek one offs.
For me the funniest thing about the film was the shift to that super-cartoon violence one Arnold gets to the island. Granted, the violence before that was pretty hilarious. But it’s pretty funny to watch him cut down so many stooges in a short amount of time and yeah, take some lumps in that final fight.
Okay, Bennett looking like a chubby Freddie Mercury was also really funny. I can’t watch that film without thinking of a few Queen songs!
That island massacre features so many guys with bushy mustaches! Probably shot them all without then put them on the stunt guys and shot them all over again!
Bushy FIREPROOF mustaches, given all the explosions in that last section. 😀