29 September 2017 | Red-Barracuda
Quite tiresome and generic 80's action
It never ceases to surprise me to learn just how much lots of people seem to like explosions in movies. I have always thought that - aside from the admittedly seriously impressive Pink Floyd scored explosion par excellence from the finale of Zabriskie Point (1970) – once you've seen one explosion
well, the others are kind of similar. Which brings me to Codename: Wild Geese, a film complimented quite a bit on the basis for it having an above average number of explosions. While I fully agree there were a lot of them, it didn't change the fact that this was a very formulaic action movie with little interest value overall.
This West German production was directed by Italian director-for-hire Antonio Margheriti, who was also at the helm for the two subsequent films which made up a loose action trilogy, namely Commando Leopard (1985) and The Commander (1988). For my money Commando Leopard was the best of the bunch, although that could be a result of it being the first of these I saw and so consequently had the most patience for. All films feature Lewis Collins in the star role as a tough commando team leader who quite impressively manages to navigate through the entire run-time of all three movies with a face like fizz. In this one he leads a group of mercenaries who are hired by the DEA to take out an opium production operation in the south-east Asian jungle. The rest of the cast is pretty good on paper with Ernest Borgnine as a shady DEA boss, Lee Van Cleef pitches up as a helicopter pilot, Klaus Kinski replete with upper class English accent plays a sneaky associate of Collins' and Italian genre regular Mimsy Farmer is also on hand as a civilian caught up in the middle of the conflict. Despite the promising nature of the cast, they aren't given anything very interesting to work with and so none really register performances that are very memorable at all. But then, this film is about explosions not acting, I keep on forgetting this.
There are other things in it worth at least noting, however, my favourite scene for example being the car chase early on in the movie where Collins drives his car along the side of a wall while driving down a tunnel in an attempt to escape a tailgater – this is a genuinely inspired bit of nonsense which I definitely enjoyed. Later on, we also have a helicopter with attached flamethrower, which isn't as interesting as it sounds but it does sound great I have to say. And there also was a scene where a missionary is crucified, which was at the very least quite distinctive and memorable. But mainly this one really has to be recommended for those of you with a high tolerance for machine gun shooting, explosions, jungle-based antics, explosions, Lewis Collins looking constipated, explosions and scenes with explosions.