12 July 2006 | BroadswordCallinDannyBoy
Entertaining in parts due to its absurdity, but overall it's INCREDIBLY stupid
A crazy terrorist named Rostov thinks that Americans don't value their freedom. Since they are in no danger of really losing it, Rostov decides to attack the USA with a bunch of mercenaries. He proceeds to demolish towns and instill terror. He then blows up Chuck Norris's house and frightens Chuck's pet baby armadillo. Big mistake, Rostov. BIG FRIGGIN' MISTAKE!
From the title you can only manage to expect an overblown macho action-fest and that is precisely what this is. Schwarzenegger had 'Commando' also in 1985 and Stallone came out with a similar vehicle in 'Cobra' the next year. The idea of one guy taking out hordes of bad guys with his trusty weapon of choice - a pair of uzis with unlimited ammo in this case - is here much like in the aforementioned films.
Interesting is the not-so-subtle presentation of uber-patriotism. Chuck Norris wears all blue, drives American cars, lives in the American wetlands of Florida and so on. While the badguys speak with their ridiculous foreign accents, use much different and presumably foreign weapons and even drive non-American cars even if they acquire them in America. Was this intentional? Well that doesn't matter actually, because it is played out to no effect.
What does matter is the film's absurdity. The film begins with a laughably goofy set-up for a political thriller and ends up being a series of loosely connected action scenes with Chuck making his heroic appearance and taking out the badguys with the very bomb they intended to plant. One scene where Chuck saves a school bus will literally have you laughing on the floor for how stupid it is. If you think you have seen "so bad it's funny" then see this film - it is so bad it's... um... very funny!
The only real highlights (things that are actually good for real) are Richard Lynch's turn as the villain. It is a delightfully stereotypical villain role, but it was sadly underused. Ah-nuld's 'Commando' made much better use of it's goofy villains, premise, and overall feel making it an equally stupid, but much more satisfying film in the end. The other thing is the premise at hand here - an attack on America. Uber-patriotic crap aside, that could make for a good and interesting thriller. What the film makers here didn't realize that that idea (as with any worthy thriller) is going to take more than 5 minutes to develop into a screenplay.
Also of note would have to be the film's gun-play. In most action movies people don't aim when shooting, but they at least try to look it and essentially most decent action films get away with that. Here, not only do people don't aim, they don't even look like their trying. There is actually a scene where the badguys storm into a building (that's empty) and just shoot everything. Maybe they thought they were in the AOL customer service office. Damn. 3/10
Rated R: violence and profanity