Download Formats: M4V, AVI, MTS, MKV, M2TS, 3GP, ASF
original title: Above the War
duration: 1h 35min
Somewhere in North Vietnam, an American base is overrun by V.C. and a golden Buddha statue is stolen. The American high command won't have this and sends in an elite force of goof-offs to recover the item. The team (the B-TEAM!!) is to be led by Rom Kristoff and feature two white guys and two Asian guys in order to (hysterically!) trade-off who is keeping who prisoner among them in order to infiltrate enemy lines.
The Good: Action-wise, you really could do a lot worse. There's a lot of solid pyrotechnics on display with plenty of stunt-men flying around on fire and huts exploding and getting shot up really good. A few moments echo the best of what we saw in earlier films like WARBUS and DOG TAGS where we're reminded that these are actual filmmakers making these films. Some shots capture good battlefield scope, the heroics, the futility, and moments of humanity, etc.
Also the cast is fairly good with the always-reliable B-action favorite Romano Kristoff getting to sport his actual voice for once (and you'll see why as he has a distractingly impenetrable Spanish accent). Along for the ride are a lot of performers you'll have no doubt come to recognize over the years of watching these films (ie. the security guard from ALIEN FROM THE DEEP and the chopper pilot from ROBOWAR both given fairly meaty roles for once). Richard Harrison even pops by for one of his final roles as a bigwig General near the beginning, though it's really more of a glorified cameo. There's a lot of expensive military ordinance on display, few lulls in the action, and big unrealistic and historically inaccurate battle scenes. Just the kind we like.
The Bad: This film is very, oh so very irritatingly 80's straight to its core. There's a lot of cheese to be had here and unsuccessful intentional comedy, and not really any of it works to do anything other than to derail a lot of the drama the film sets up in certain areas. Some jokes are so badly handled one would be hard-pressed not to laugh, reacting more to the sheer patheticness of the humor than to any clever execution. No attention was paid to credibility of course or even to making us believe for a second that the setting is early-70's Vietnam as opposed to late-80's Philippines. Kristoff is made up to look older with white dye in his hair, but it's inconsistent and shows up more in some places than others. Was anyone paying attention to continuity?
Frustratingly, this movie just jumps all over with its narrative and I wouldn't be surprised if the reels got out of order. There's one scene where they're wrestling in the mud with pursuing American soldiers, and then the next they're hiding out from V.C., and then back to duping the Americans again. Why? Did I miss something?
The Verdict: Trash action completists shall foam at the mouth to come across this incredibly hard-to-find treasure. The rest of you, depending on our mindsets while viewing it, shall either be baffled beyond comprehension or likely write off immediately as more innocuous 80's jungle antics with no plot and lots of explosions.
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