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  • Nick James is a professional stunt driver on his way to prison. However, bad guys with evil plans decide to use him as a getaway driver for a very important job, kidnapping the President of the United States, so they ambush the prison bus and coerce him to go along with them. Naturally, Nick James is a good guy at heart and starts to work things his way.

    The good thing about this movie is that the opening scene lets you know right away what you're in for - a nice, though very overdone epic score, plays during the beginning scenes. It seems to be music from bigger and more expensive action pictures like "The Rock" or "Batman Begins." Though the score oddly complements the outrageous chase scenes which are pretty well done, but thoroughly silly. Thankfully, the rest of the plot is equally silly so overall it works out as an enjoyable no-brainer action movie.

    The film's tagline of this being the greatest chase movie ever, however is really the one unnecessarily overdone thing. It's not and in watching you can see that it doesn't really try to be so for a truly intriguing and involving thriller, look elsewhere. This is just lots of fun for boys who like fast toys. --- 6/10

    Rated R for violence and profanity
  • The film is basically one extended car chase scene after another with a silly plot which I don't have any objections to. It's just that the film director Joseph Merhi appears to have taken his film's plot too seriously which is to kidnap the United States President played by Roy Scheider and utilizing Nick's stunt driving talents to drive the getaway car. Michael Madsen plays Nick James a stunt car driver by trade and a current California state prisoner who is busted out of prison so that a more evil criminal named Lamar played by Keith David can make use of his talents from his underground cave headquarters classified as Area 55.

    Now Nick James would have preferred to complete his one year sentence in prison but when Lamar holds Nick's estranged wife Nadia played by Kathy Christopherson as his prisoner in his underground headquarters named Area 55 to ensure Nick does as he is told then Nick is left with few alternatives but to drive the getaway cars through the city of California with a couple of dozen police cars in hot pursuit, one crime at a time.

    Lamar has two henchmen who keep Nick company and under control who are named Ray played by Joe Hart and Lacey played by the red headed model Angie Everhart. I appreciate that an actor can only perform as well as the lines provided to them so don't expect any quality acting from Ray or Lacey. Madsen's performance was done well for the material he was provided to work with.

    Nick (Michael Madsen) ends up being the hero and the good news for the audience is that the movie ends at the 92 minute mark. Now lets see ...travelling at a rate of speed (on average) of 150 miles per hour that equates to approximately 228 miles of distance this films car chase scenes have travelled across the state of California. During the 92 minutes that the film elapsed I travelled to the fridge three times and enjoyed my snacks and drinks more than Executive Target. If you enjoy endless car chases and cars, trucks and buses that go boom then this film is for you. As for me this film went bust, as did my belly after my third trip to the fridge since this movie was not as captivating as I had hoped. I rate it a 3 out of 10.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Nick James (Madsen) is a professional stunt car driver who is on his way to prison. While riding the prison transfer bus, Lacey (Everhart) and the stupidly-named Clay Ripple (Williams) manage to break him out and he escapes. They do this because they are the minions of super-villain Lamar (David). Lamar hears that Nick is the best at what he does and they want him to be the wheelman for a bank robbery. Nick wants no part of it, but they kidnap his wife Nadia (Christopherson) and say they will kill her if he doesn't comply. But there's something bigger afoot: to quote the movie's tagline, "Kidnapping the President is worth a hell of a lot of money". So while Nick does technically kidnap President Carlson (Scheider), The Prez is sympathetic to Nick's situation and they vow to take down Lamar's terrorist organization.

    PM once again delivers the car-flipping-over-and-exploding-in-the-middle-of-the-street goods, at least in the action department. Sure, the chase scenes are overlong and contain some classic clichés (fruit carts and women with carriages, the only thing missing was two workers carrying a large pane of glass), but, like Last Man Standing (1996), it seems Pepin & Merhi were trying, even STRIVING for theatrical quality. It doesn't quite make it, but at least they're trying, unlike many of their competitors.

    One of the more convincing reasons to watch this movie is the cast. We didn't even mention Robert Miano and Matthias Hues. Sadly, it's a nothing role for Hues, as he plays Vic, a bank robber who gets shot (remind you of any other Michael Madsen movies?). He doesn't appear until forty minutes into the film, and has only one line of spoken dialogue: "I Can't". Unless you count some of his moanings and groanings while he is wounded. Gareth Williams is hate-able as Ripple, Keith David goes way over the top as the main baddie, but what do you expect of a criminal mastermind with an underground command center so large, it has its own name - "Area 55"? But somehow the authorities don't know this place exists. Maybe that's because it's "two hours outside L.A.". Because nothing exists there, right? Scheider plays exactly the same role he does in The Peacekeeper (1997) (why is he even here?), Madsen is laconic, and Everhart is fun to watch as she plays the villainess with the permanent scowl on her face. You gotta love the banter between some of the characters, it's priceless (well, more groan-inducing). Especially the scenes with Nick's buddy Bela (Callie).

    If it's car stunts and blow-ups you seek, look no further. This movie exemplifies the PM credo that multiple, gigantic explosions and cars flying and flipping every which way need not make sense or have any justification - it's just awesome to watch and can be highly entertaining, if in a pretty dumb way. But these stunts took a lot of work and effort to pull off, and we recognize and respect that. These are REAL stunts, not CGI garbage. We wholly support the true stunt/pyrotechnic masterminds behind Executive Target.
  • Michael Madsen apparently sleep walks his way through this undemanding but nonetheless fun entry from the ever reliable guys at (the much sadly missed!) PM Entertainment.

    Madsen plays a stunt car driver who is sprung from a prison bus by a shady government organisation who have hatched a dastardly plan to kidnap the president of the United States and are planning to utilise our hero's amazing driving adroitness in a daring bid to abscond with him. Well, if insane car chases are your cup of tea, then you'll love this for sure. Cars flip, spin, screech, explode and perform all manner of hair raising feats in this adrenaline pounding ride. Unfortunately, it has to be said that there is very little substance other than the aforementioned so if you are requisite of character development, a more abstruse plot and good performances then it would probably be wise to look elsewhere.

    Whilst certainly not one of my personal favourites from PM's extensive catalogue, this is nonetheless worth a look for fans of automobile chaos and awesome GENUINE (as opposed to lazy CGI crap!) stuntwork.
  • My Age: 13

    Nick, an imprisoned stunt car driver, played by Michael Madsden, is riding on a prison bus when some guys turn up to bust him out. He doesn't know these people and tries to get away from them, but they kidnap his wife to force him to drive the getaway car when they kidnap the President of the United States to sell him for a great deal of money.

    This film has quite a few good car chases, but they deserve a better plot and a better movie. The plot of this film is preposterous and ludicrous, most of the action (in the form of the car chases) is quite good, but the ending climax is both unrealistic and below par. Michael Madsden, who I feel is one of the more underrated actors, puts in his normal good performance, but why is Roy Scheider in this film? I think he looks a bit out of place as the President.

    Australian Classification: MA 15+: Medium Level Violence, Medium Level Coarse Language

    Rating: 42 out of 100
  • Just the premise of this film sounds horrible. An ex-Hollywood stunt driver, arrested on a minor crime, is broken out of prison and forced to drive the getaway car for a plot to kidnap the President of the United States. Would probably make a fun video game. As a film? Well...

    This movie is kind of like a magic show. It's point is to distract you and make you think that something it happening. You sit there thinking "Wow, this movie sucks...Cool, a car blew up!" And they use every car chase cliché in the book. Cars bunny-hopping inexplicably. Driving through boxes of fruit while people jump out of the way. They even have a woman pushing a freaking baby carriage. I yank you not, a freaking baby carriage! There's a line a character mutters after a huge explosion: "Now tell me that doesn't give you a hard on". Somewhere, Jerry Bruckheimer is stroking himself in agreement. I'd bet all that I own that with a little bit of a reworked plot, a bigger budget and a few A-List stars, this would be a total Bruckheimer flick.

    As I said before, the story is dull and predictable. The acting is wooden and hard to swallow. Even Madsen, whom I rented this solely on the fact that he's on the cover holding a gun, feels like he's going through the motions and just looks bored with the entire thing. But it does have shut-your-brain-off boom-booms, and they are done fairly well. Even if it does take only a half dozen people, a couple of which are untrained in any sort of combat, to take down an entire evil military base. If it's ever on late at night and the batteries on the remote are dead, I'd probably watch it again. So if you get a chance to see it for free and you honest to God have nothing better to do, it beats the hell out of some films I've seen.
  • The movie as a whole is hardly average, but I like Everhart's ice-womanish play, and Michael Madsen is always a good actor to see
  • Nateofborg18 January 2006
    You always see these stupid movies with idiotic plots but wonderful production value. What's the deal? Executive Target is on par with any shoot em up action flick Hollywood has released and if that's all you care about then please check out this one, you'll love it. Yet with all the great stunts and sets and even a fairly adept cast, this script must have been written by some guy while taking a bath. From the outlandish set up to the ending that resembles a James Bond film, scratch that, Austin Powers flick, it's just 90 minuets of stupid.

    How's this for an idea. The producer who makes these flicks and has all these guns and tanks and helicopters laying around should host the next project green light. Find some fresh out of high school action fanatic who has a great idea and let them just run amok. While I do enjoy its simplicity, imagine what Reservior Dogs would have looked like if Tarentino had all this fun stuff to play with on his first film? What a waste.
  • This film's primary objective seems to be to test the viewer on how good they are at suspending their disbelief. Surprisingly, money WAS spent on this film, and there are enough car chase sequences to make even William Friedkin happy, but every time a car hits another car, it explodes immediately. Every time. Also, I got a hoot out of the closing sequence, where two helicopters are shot down, and then two different (read: cheaper) helicopters are shown on fire, hitting the ground. Different colors and everything.
  • O.N.29 June 1999
    This movie had promise. Unfortunately, it's let down by a lame plot, bad acting and a very cheap, made for TV look.

    The movie centres on stunt car driver Nick (Michael Madsen) who is sprung from jail (after being wrongly convicted.... surprise!) to drive the getaway car for a bunch of crooks who intend to kidnap the president and sell him to the highest bidder.

    Unfortunately, this somewhat original idea, and the talents of Madsen and Roy Scheider (as the president) are ruined by poor execution and plotting. The story fails to explain adequately what the military has to do with everything, the constant presidential speeches have no real point in the plot and Madsen's character is sometimes made to look like a sincere guy and at other times just like the money hungry thieves he supposedly detests.

    The car chase sequences, which could have been exciting, simply come across as silly because of ultra slow motion shots and cars that begin to explode before they've even collided ! The villains hideout also looks like some cheap leftover from the original Star Trek series.

    And finally, the acting itself is generally quite poor, particularly the bad guys (Angie Everhart is NOT an actress). Even Madsen, who I thought was great in "Donnie Brasco" and "Reservoir Dogs" seems to be coasting along for the ride, although this could be partly attributed to the lame dialogue his character has been given.

    All in all, "Executive Target" is about what you'd expect from a cheap made for TV movie, which is a pity really because there is definite potential here.

    4/10.
  • Ok this is a cheap action film with no great actors, a pretty lousy budget, bad effects, a so – so story and so on and so on. OK the villain's ‘home' is too James Bondish, the way the 2nd crime is executed is totally unbelievable, the plot is too predictable. Yet it was pretty OK for a night when you've got nothing else to do and there is only crap on TV. Better drink a couple of beers first and you might even enjoy it. Some of the jokes are not too bad.

    5 out of 10
  • The PM Entertainment Group Incorporated has created some of the best direct-to-video motion pictures ever. Their films, which concern primarily with action heroes battling impossible odds are lavishly exuberant and fun to watch. Though the PM team earns high marks for effort, EXECUTIVE TARGET is just not one of their more memorable classics...

    Anyway, EXECUTIVE TARGET focuses on a stunt-car driver for action movies, Nick James (Michael Madsen), who is being transferred to a security prison in L.A. after being convicted for some minor, negligible offenses. He has one more year left of his sentenced term...but not so fast yet...

    While riding on a prison bus, James and his criminal colleagues are ambushed by a couple of professional, anonymous assassins. James tries to escape via a convertible and wild chase scenes with the police ensue. James was considered lucky then to have fled from the cops, but unfortunately, the criminal masterminds have now kidnapped James' wife. They have forced her to partake in these schemes of Presidential proportions. James must abide by the villains' demands: to help kidnap the President of the U.S. of A...or else...they will silence his wife permanently...

    Nick James has no choice but to help these bad guys kidnap the ye olde President of America...

    Former Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Angie Everhart and devious character actor Keith David are the main antagonists. Roy Scheider(!) (JAWS, BLUE THUNDER) is the main character, the imaginary pseudo-President of the United States, Carlson. At least, Mr. Scheider can look on the bright side, in this movie, he gets the privilege to play the President of the United States. How many actors in these days can brag about the opportunity to play the President of the United States of A-merica?

    EXECUTIVE TARGET is sadly, prosaic material. The gossamer story-line does not help and the plot is as weak as hell. This film just barely survives the premise's implausibility, owning its gratitude to some well staged car chases, gun battles, explosions, action sequences, and just total carnage. If you love watching objects bursting into flames for no discernible reason, sit down and continue reading to find out more about this film! The action in this film is standard fare though. Lots of exploding helicopters are popular in this movie, police cars crash and conflagrations happen all over the place. Shoot-outs though are a bit less common in this film. To summarize about the pleasing action scenes of EXECUTIVE TARGET, their pyrotechnics are enough to mollify any adventurous fan's satisfaction. It will definitely keep your heart pulsating in anticipation!

    As for the texture of EXECUTIVE TARGET, do not expect much. Character development is nonexistent, the sinister, hostile and diabolical villains' motives also do not make much sense either, particularly the reason why they would want to kidnap the President of the U.S.A. in the first place. Michael Madsen remained nondescript and wooden as the main hero. Angie Everhart stayed acerbic as an obstinate "lady venom," and Roy Scheider continued to be taciturn as the President who supposedly had a lot of notoriety. EXECUTIVE TARGET misses the mark in being original, but it has lots of action, colossal car chases, mayhem and frenzy, and corny humor. No melodramatic moments here, just straightforward entertainment that is diverting, if nothing else.

    In this movie, my friend, do not expect anything within a proximity of novelty in this low-budget action film. Still, if you will learn to lock up your common sense elsewhere for a good 96 minutes, then maybe you will be appeased by this motion picture that's surprisingly average. My personal opinion though, about EXECUTIVE TARGET is that it is a more nominal effort from the usually talented Pepin-Merhi group, who are very good at making many explosive movies.

    RATING: ** out of ****.
  • I found the movie too slow and the writing didn't lead me to care what happened to the characters. The car chase scenes were too long. The setting for the hideout was implausible and the response by the President to the kidnapping was laughable. A very poor film and should be avoided.
  • This flick was kind of stupid. Bottom line: bad guys try to kidnap an arrested stunt driver from an armored transport truck. They fail but kidnap his wife, which they use to blackmail the stunt driver into robbing a bank for them, and later kidnapping the USA president. Lots of dead good guys and 1.5 lines of plot further, all bad guys are killed, and the president is saved. How that is accomplished you have to see, but that it is accomplished you know all the time.

    In spite of the 100% It kept me watching intensely though, because of the abundance of action. Never had this movie any moment of peace, except for the talks with the president, which made the president look way to cool. Maybe it's because I'm Dutch, but I just don't buy any USA president (except for Clinton) being that cool and relaxed :-)

    Rating 5/10 because it was good enough to watch but still lots of irritating lacks. Like: it had no extras whatsoever, like sound effects of police voices during chases, nice lighting touches, loose particles in the sky flying around during explosions, you know? All those little details that make you sink just a little bit deeper in the movie. I felt like I was watching a movie with action and a bad plot, not like I was watching the real thing with a bad plot like in good action flicks.

    To go short: just below average in it's genre.

    Peace to all

    SadBunny
  • I really like this film, Michael Madsen, one hell of an actor who is so underated, it's sick, because this man has talent! Even though The Getaway (1994) is still his best movie, this is one Madsen flick any fan should see! Kidnapping the President and selling him to another country for billions of dollars is hilarious, and a good never before seen plot! Imagine some one doing that to Bill Clinton, now that would be the day!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    OK so the plot... if you can call it that... probably not. But anyway a rogue agency of the CIA breaks a stunt car driver out of jail so that they can kidnap the president... just say that over in your mind a few times then think about whether or not you should rent the movie. From the ridiculous characters, to the incredibly slowly moving Army Rangers, to the out of shape evil CIA guy (who has a sizable gut) beating up an Army ranger, to the general who apparently wears his uniform all the time, to the driving in circles creating a dust storm so the cops can't see a van... the list goes on and on. If you watch this movie with the right attitude you'll be laughing your ass off otherwise you'll be wishing you were dead. Also if you found anything about this movie to be intelligent I suggest you see a doctor immediately as you may have a common condition called stupidity.
  • A particularly pathetic piece of cheese that is another example of Hollywood money that should have gone to feed the poor.

    The chase scenes in this cultish "Bad Movie" are what its reputation is built upon. But they are not really chase scenes, they are car-wrecking scenes. There is very little chase. They drive a block and then four or five police cars and tractor-trailers collide and explode. Again and again and again and again. That's it.

    If you are expecting anything else, don't. If that's enough for your visceral viewing pleasure then have at it. But remember, all that money up on the screen could have been spent saving some children from going to bed hungry.