10 July 2016 | Leofwine_draca
Monotonous Filipino action movie
EYE OF THE EAGLE is just one of the innumerable no-budget war flicks shot in the Philippines by director Cirio H. Santiago in the late '80s. Watching this, you'll have no desire to track any of the director's other films down, as it stands as one of his dullest and most routine flicks – despite the plethora of over-the-top explosions and gun battles that populate the film's running time. The film begins in the middle of a gun battle, introduces our trio of heroes at a later stage – when it can be bothered – and then has lots of running around as they fight off the Vietcong. About halfway through, a plot struggles to appear – involving a jungle camp of renegades and murders – and following this the movie limps along to a lacklustre conclusion.
Never has it been more obvious that Santiago was just shooting this to make a quick buck – he doesn't appear to be interested at all in the plot, characters or dialogue, so all three are by-the-numbers. There's absolutely nobody in the film to care about, as the heroes are all selfish meat heads and the sole female an annoyingly brassy photographer who thinks nothing of putting others in danger. Brett Clark stars as the one-dimensional hero, and while he knows how to fire a gun, he doesn't appear to have grasped the essentials of acting – sometimes his dialogue is so mumbled that I'm surprised Santiago didn't ask for another take. The film's sole well-known person is Robert Patrick, aka the Liquid Metal Man from TERMINATOR 2; man, what a break that must have been after appearing in obscure Filipino action films like this! Sadly Patrick doesn't get a chance to make an impression in the film, as other than a couple of angry outbursts, his screen time is limited to running around shooting and being tied up.
Other cast members are familiar if you're weird enough to have watched many Filipino exploitation movies. William Steis from the same director's DEMON OF PARADISE is here, as is old Mike Monty, a red-haired older guy who always played a Colonel-type in these types of films. Also popping up in a cameo appearance is none other than Vic Diaz, big, bald and as villainous as ever.
The cheapness of the production is even more apparent than is usual for the director. When our intrepid trio are called on to ambush a train, the budget doesn't even stretched to a normal one – instead we get a dinky little model train, those ones that are little more than head height. Hmph – I'll even take a CGI train over the model train seen here any day. Still, there's room in the budget for a helicopter and lots and lots of explosions, as well as flying stuntmen and a special effects technician with a propensity for people being shot in the head. Sadly, the action isn't varied or particularly stylised, so it all gets very routine and monotonous very quickly – some martial arts bouts amid the flying bullets would have livened things up a little. Incredibly – or perhaps not surprisingly considering the leeching nature of Filipino film productions – this spawned not one but two sequels!