1 March 2003 | ParanoidAndroidMarvin
An enjoyable B-grade action movie
Directed by John Glen, best known for his work on the James Bond series, Iron Eagle III is a decent enough aviation-action-B-Movie. Louis Gossett Jr.'s Chappy is back in action, this time flying vintage World War Two aircraft instead of modern jet fighters. It's a good change of scenery, even if the German Me-109 and Japanese Zero are actually American aircraft in disguise: a P-51 B stands in for the Me-109, and a whitewashed Texan shemps it as a Zero.
The plot is all to familiar: A heroic group goes rogue to take on the drug cartel. Except this time the cartel happens to be under the command of an Ex-Nazi. John Glen is a competent action director and makes the most out of what was no doubt a budget considerably smaller than the typical 007 film. The acting is mixed, and we receive different levels of performance from the different actors. Gossett probably tuns in the best performance of the group.
Fans of aviation movies will no doubt find at least some elements of the movie pleasing. It does feature some beautiful aircraft, most notably the British Spitfire and American P-38 Lightning. An authentic Me-109 and Zero would have greatly added to the film, but at least the Spitfire and Lightning are the real deal. At one point the WWII planes take on some lower end jet fighters, and some humor and nostalgia ensue. As one pilot in the movie likes saying "technology is no match for seasoning." It's a fun concept to see the propeller driven dogfighters-which by the end of WWII were approaching their twilight, as electronic warfare began to develop- taking on that which made them obsolete, and defeating them.
Apart from Gossett, there are a few recognizable actors in the film. Sonny Chiba plays the pilot of the Zero. Mitch Ryan of "Dharma and Greg" fame plays General Simms. Tom Bower as DEA agent Crawford is also recognizable, as you've probably seen him in bit roles in other movies.
Second to Chappy, the most featured character in the movie is Rachel McLish's Anna. Her greatest asset is her physical presence on the screen. Her most remarkable scene is her first, when she escapes from her chains, muscles popping out everywhere. Her dialogue isn't the best to work with, and her delivery is adequate, nothing more. But that's not to say I didn't enjoy watching her. After all, this is an action movie, not a drama. The video cover box makes her out as Rambo with an X chromosome, but her character is more vulnerable than that, which I suppose is a good thing since it adds realism.
All things considered, Aces: Iron Eagle III is an enjoyable B-grade action movie. The producers were wise to change the scene for this movie, as Iron Eagle I and II featured F-16's. Iron Eagle III isn't perfect, but at least it's not a complete rehashing of the first two movies-a commendable effort.