Terrible disappointment? Come on chaps, that precludes really having a burning desire to watch such a film in the first place. But people do. I did, but then I'm only half a person. After viewing, not even that. It's the chaos factor, you see, it has a strange effect on you. A normal sense of rationality concerning the real world is slowly eroded leaving you feeling strangely vulnerable. This movie tells it like it is, but not necessarily in the right order. Or even the same film. And like it is, as delivered by Fred Ward with a snarl that looks like his lips have been stapled to his cheeks, is this. The Chinese are very, VERY bad people whom, if left to their own devices, may do something terrible like...like....well, we don't know, they haven't done it yet. But they MIGHT do it, so send in Fred Ward and some young, myopic thugs to stop them even THINKING about doing something Americans don't do. Or do do, but shouldn't. I lost track, it's the chaos factor.
Yes, my friends, all this chaos can only end in one place. You guessed it, an abandoned warehouse. It's always an abandoned warehouse. Well, not totally this time, it's got presses. And in an obligatory torture scene, Fred Ward must impress upon the good guy that he really shouldn't stop him from stopping the Chinese from doing what they haven't done yet but might do, so he crushes the poor man's motorbike. Gosh, forget water torture, that's really showing him. Then he hurls some very distasteful racial abuse in our hero's face, the like of which is un-repeatable on a family film site. Actually, it's completely incomprehensible. Didn't Fred Ward used to be an actor? Perhaps the script failed to make it through the presses. Suddenly, our hero is rescued by a couple of those leather clad chicks with an uzi in both hands and a steering wheel between their teeth. There follows an impressive chase between two cars and a helicopter. My God, this actually looks competent. So competent in fact, you could say it's from another film. Sadly, the girl who is driving our hero is shot and he jumps out at the last minute while the car speeds down a cliff towards an electricity box. Now, hang on, this looks familiar. It reminds me of a scene in 'Species'. If it has been lifted whole sale from 'Species' and inserted into this film then any moment the helicopter should shoot missiles into the car. The helicopter shoots missiles into the car. So that's why (left brain clicks into gear) the heroine had short cropped blonde hair, to match up the two films. Here we see the chaos factor working again. You're not sure from one minute to the next what film your in, let alone what country. It must be a fiendish Chinese plot. They've stopped not doing and started doing or maybe not. Maybe the film makers are just a teensy bit short of cash and hoped we wouldn't notice. I did, impressive as my right brain's asleep.
Anyway, our hero survives and meets another tasty young oriental lady who embroils him in another car chase. The trouble is, the car chase takes place in another film all together. Back and forth they cut, mostly in our film to close ups of the actors sitting in their cars with someone rocking the sides. Spare no expense! Everybody's going this way and that, maybe even backwards in a manner that can best be described as, well, chaotic.
Things eventually calm down, possibly due to the fact that the other film was probably shorter than this one. The entire cast then decamps to a hotel where Fred Ward wants to cause trouble at a meeting between the CIA and the Chinese. At least, I think that's the plot, the left half of my brain is still stuck in the other film. Dressed rather unconvincingly as kitchen staff, the hero and heroine are attacked by bad guys in the lobby and things suddenly become slow. So sudden it looks like someone accidently hit a switch in the editing suite. It's that chaos factor again. Our heroine manages to fill the baddies with holes from two Uzi's without a drop of blood being spilt. How ironic, this is China and there's no red. One of the baddies creeps up on our heroine and orders her to put down the weapon and turn around. She kills him. She then runs up some stairs killing some more bad guys before finding herself in the same professionally embarrassing situation as before. "Put down your weapon and turn around." Why not just shoot her? It's that chaos factor again. When in doubt, drop your IQ through your left trouser leg.
Then, just when you think things can't get anymore chaotic, what with foreigners running around doing what they weren't supposed to be doing followed by a lot of Americans not even sure what film they're in, let alone having the time to stop them from doing anymore of what they weren't supposed to be doing, things stop being chaotic and start getting static. Fred Ward and the hero stand still on the hotel roof and actually have a conversation. I would dearly love to quote it in full, as it is without doubt the most gob-smacking sequence of dialogue I've ever heard. It so perfectly encapsulates the state of race relations in the world today, not to mention life, the universe, politics and everything else, but the video packed up. It's the chaos factor. Even so, the writer has changed my life for the better and I want to thank him from the bottom of the my heart. What he has to say works on so many levels, none of them remotely accessible by ladder. Basically, what it comes down to is this. Men and women of different races have been doing what they are not supposed to be doing in doing something intimate with each other that produces children, one of which is the hero. Fred Ward is not pleased. After all, he's spent the whole film (and half someone else's film) telling them what not to do and blow me down if they haven't gone and done it already. His snarl has become a grimace although admittedly it's a value judgement. It seems that doing what you are not supposed to be doing can actually be pleasurable. So an American gets on to a podium at the end of the film (or films) and tells us that he's sorry he got it all wrong and by order of America it is now decreed that all those of different colours and creeds have his permission to all get along together and start doing or even thinking about doing what you originally shouldn't have been doing, but have done anyway. Also, doing it in a hotel room with someone in leather, like our hero, is even more do-able. I think the podium is actually in this film as opposed to spliced in from a fifties western so we should give the CIA a round of applause for beating the chaos factor. I guess that at the end of the day (and a very long film) there's an even bigger factor than chaos and that's schmaltz. So what are you waiting for? Start doing it.