Friday, 9 November 2007


RAVEN (1997)

Directed by: Russell Solberg
Screenplay: Jacobson Hart
Starring: Burt Reynolds, Matt Battaglia and Krista Allan.

Raven is a solid, if unremarkable, meat and potatoes action flick starring the always charismatic Burt Reynolds. Directed by seasoned stunt coordinator, Russell Solberg (Forced to Kill), Raven ambles along reasonably well, managing to pull itself out of it’s made for TV trappings with some mild nudity and some decent stunts.

Jerome ‘Raven’ Katz (Reynolds) leads the covert ops squad, Raven Team. When their latest mission in Bosnia goes tits up, leaving most of the group dead, Duce (Battaglia) decides he wants out, much to Raven’s disagreement. A scuffle, a helicopter crash and one year later, Duce is living the quiet life with new smoking hot trophy girlfriend (the smoking hot, Krista Allen). However, and inevitably, Raven resurfaces wanting the other part of a decoder/thingy/device/whatever that Duce has and revenge on the CIA bods that set him up in Bosnia. Some talking ensues, some people get killed, the babe gets kidnapped, Duce takes up his guns again, there is some more double crossing and a lot of things get blown up.

Raven is nothing new in terms of plot and structure and when there isn’t action or naked women on screen it does tend to fizzle out. But all in all it’s a decent B-movie. Reynolds is his usual wise cracking self: chomping on cigars, running around with an AK-47 and getting it on with implausibly beautiful women half his age. David Akroyd is also good quality as a slimy CIA suit and the two cops investigating all the explosions and gunfire raise an occasion smile. Unfortunately, Battalgia (Universal Solder 2 & 3) and Allen don’t fare so well. Battalgia is as wooden as the slab of oak he resembles and Allen, well, plays the trophy girlfriend: all smiles and ‘gee-whiz.’ She does get naked though, twice, and the scene of her walking along the beach in a bikini that barely covers all the important parts is worth watching the flick for alone.

Stunts and action are above standard with the extended shootout/raid in Bosnia that opens the film being the standout set piece. Special mention should also go to the fact that every single woman in this film is stunningly hot. I swear there is not an ugly woman in this film. The producers must have had some special clause that all women must be leggy, busty and incredibly hot. Krista Allen: hot. Some dudes secretary: hot. Reynolds squeeze: hot. Every single woman seen in the background of a scene: hot. So really, Burt Reynolds, cool stunts, Krista Allen and a ton of hot babes: these are the reasons I enjoyed this flick.

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