Tuesday, 4 January 2011
FINAL SCORE (1986)
Directed by: Azriel
Written by: Denny Armand
Starring: Chris Mitchum, Mike Abbot
You know an action film is gonna be cool when the opening titles are accompanied by machine gun fire. The opening credits to this Chris (son of Robert) Mitchum masterpiece are accompanied by automatic fire: names appear on screen, guns fire off. Awesome. In fact, awesome is a word you will frequently be using (in a somewhat ironic way, though also often because things are awesome!) especially if you are into bonkers, stunt stuffed, sleazy Philippine action films from the 1980s. Final Score has to be one of the best, not that it is actually any good, but for the sheer amount of looniness and stunt filled mayhem it provides.
It also has the most basic plot set-up possibly ever seen in action cinema. A big statement indeed as many action films work on simple plots in order to stage as many action scenes as possible. Final Score is about Chris Micthum getting vengeance on those who raped and killed his wife and shot his son dead. A set-up we've seen many a time but that really is all the set-up to be found here. No sub-plots, hardly any backstory, minimum stoppage time for other characters to be introduced, no real twists: just revenge filled action scene after revenge filled action scene. Which is precisely what you want from an 80s Philippine action film directed by some dude called Azriel (who made a load of these kinds of films) and starring Chris Micthum (who, likewise, starred in a ton of these movies).
After the basic set-up and slaying of Mitchum's family (in an unnecessarily leering and protracted scene which ups the sleaziness), Final Score gets down to action-looniness and rarely lets up. While the action scenes are never really well put together (though the gunfights are often quite blistering) Azriel (!) crams in so many barmy and dangerous looking stunts, Final Score turns into a low budget hoot. The craziness and action gets better as it goes along, highlights including the world's slowest car chase turning into a smash happy, car flipping good time; enough insane motorcycle stunts to fill several James Bond movies (including the awesome bit where Mitchum jumps from a building into a helicopter, drives through it, drops off a grenade, drives out the other side to land perfectly while the helicopter explodes: incredible!); and the fact that every building, vehicle and person that Mitchum comes into contact with explodes in almighty fashion. Seriously, this film has more explosions that all 1980s action films put together.
On top of all this awesomeness you get Chris Mitchum uttering about three lines of dialogue and "acting" with his eyes; such insane death scenes as a guy getting a hot poker up his ass (ouch!); non-acting entity Mike Abbott (another stalwart of many of these cheap jack action flicks) as mustached bad guy Mr Hawk (awesome) shooting his staff every time they fail to kill Mitchum, hilarious random bickering henchmen and much more stunt and action craziness.
Really, get some like minded cheap action movie aficionados round, a ton of booze in and play a drinking game for when anything explodes or when someone dies horribly: you'll be stone cold drunk within twenty minutes.
Final Score rocks!