So what is the truth about 'Born American' (or Arctic Heat)? The full truth is, that it is a debut movie of an action director who has done couple of hits and a couple of misses. And despite of its childish and almost propaganda like portrayal of the soviets, it does have a couple of interesting scenes in it.
It's easy to say, and see, that BA is an product of its era. Cold war was on and Soviet Union was seen as a huge menace. It's not only action film painting this kind of images about the soviet union, but maybe it is one with the most over the top approach, as almost all the Russians are shown as dirty and almost barbaric lunatics.
The plot is quite simple: three Americans are exploring Finland and they decide to cross the border to Soviet Union. The silly sods venture deeper into the Russia and are soon caught, which leads into an action scene, where almost everything explodes or burns down. Later, when the yanks are taken into the prison/labor camp the movie turns towards so unrealistic direction, that you don't know to laugh or to cry.
'Born American' isn't Harlins best movie, but surprisingly enough it ain't his worst either. It lacks the fluent movement of more experienced director, but over all as a debut movie it has some merits working for it. In 80's standards the action works pretty well and out of all brainless action movies made during that era it fits in pretty well with the rest of them.
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