Monday, 15 February 2010
DOUBLE TARGET (1987)
Directed by: Bruno Mattei
Written by: Bruno Mattei & Claudio Ferguson
Starring: Miles O’Keeffe, Donald Pleasence & Bo Svenson
Completely ridiculous but unashamedly fun action romp from Italian director Bruno Mattei (here billed as Vincent Dawn), Double Target features so many big explosions the filmmakers probably destroyed a good part of the Philippines when making this picture. One time direct-to-video regular Miles O’Keeffe (Phantom Raiders, Marked Man) is hired by a very confused looking Donald Pleasence to go into Vietnam and infiltrate a Russian training camp under the control of an accent varying and possibly quite drunk, Bo Svenson. Keeffe agrees as it will allow him to find the son he left behind in Vietnam many years ago and bring him back to the good ol’ US of A.
So what ensues is actually a pretty cool and non-stop barrage of chases, shootouts, navigating minefields, motorcycle chases and many, many, many explosions. Cheap and cheerful Italian produced action flicks made up for what they lacked in budget, acting ability, coherency by spending what money they did have on blowing everything up. Mattei certainly has a thing for explosions and pretty much everything our hero comes into contact with gets blown up, big style. The pyrotechnics are impressive and every set and vehicle gets destroyed in a fireball. On top of this, there is mucho firepower, some unconvincing fights, chases involving motorcycles and jeeps, helicopters galore and even a fight with a shark. Yep, O’Keeffe fights a shark and wins by; yes you’ve guessed it, blowing it up. Awesome! This movie really does have everything. And to be fair, it’s all handled pretty well and one is rarely a few minutes away from the next action scene.
On top of this, there is the ridiculous subplot of the hero’s son tagging along, who at first hates his newly discovered father but comes to love him (in the fastest 180 degree change of feelings ever!). Pleasence and Svenson are obviously collecting pay cheques, Pleasense looking like he’s not sure what movie he’s actually filming and Svenson making for a not very convincing Russian. Add in lots of other Italian craziness (did I mention that bit with the shark?!), some cool location work and an excellent score that really drives the action (and was probably nicked from another film!) and Double Target is some excellent Italian flavoured, explosion happy action. And there’s a fight with a shark in it!