Sunday, 20 November 2011
Directed by: J Anthony Roma
Screenplay: Douglas Borton & Carlos Vasallo
Starring: Jorge Rivero, George Kennedy, Isaac Hayes, Andrew Stevens, Kevin Bernhardt, Louis Jordan, Robert Forster
If you can imagine an even lower budget version of The Delta Force then Counterforce is it. Yep, it’s men-on-a-mission time in this low rent, unintentionally hilarious but a whole heap of cheapjack action fun in an action film that somehow manages to make the heroes look more inept than the actual villains. Jorge Rivero (Fist Fighter) leads the counterforce team while Andrew Stevens (The Terror Within) is the martial arts expert (ok!), Isaac Hayes (Escape from New York) is the electronics expert (with a sideline in natty 80s garb: ahem!), Kevin Bernhardt (Hellraiser 3) is the young-trying-to-prove-himself new recruit (read: douchebag) and good old George (who was actually in The Delta Force) Kennedy is the token dude who barks orders at them and tells them to get the job done (and looks completely lost and embarrassed to be in every scene he features). The Counterforce is enlisted to help protect the exiled opposition leader (Louis Jordon) of a bloodthirsty dictator (Robert Forster: complete with comedy accent and hair!) which, to be honest, they make a balls up of, as several people are killed, Jordan is harmed and his wife and son are kidnapped. But, somehow, the team manage to get it together, for the gun blazing finale and rescue everybody and set the world right while looking cool doing it.
You know you’re in for a low budget good time when the team’s training gear has the Counterforce logo used on the actual movie poster and marketing materials emblazoned all over it. Awesome! This movie is so 80s that the 1980s is probably embarrassed by it as our heroes wisecrack their way through everything whether it’s a high-risk situation, having an extremely camp workout together at a gym before suiting up for a mission (so cringe worthy it’s hilarious) or someone has just died. In fact, I don’t think our heroes have one normal conversation during the whole film and why not when a smart-ass quip will do. Coupled with their penchant for wearing “stylish” 80s clothes during missions and Counterforce is low budget action nonsense cranked up to 11.
But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy this. The above is all part of the fun of these low rent 80s cookie cutter action flicks and there is a ton of low budget action to fill the fast moving 90-minute run time. There are gun battles galore, including a cool shoot-out in a hospital, a pretty cool car chase featuring ambulances and a somewhat ambitious one take shot of vehicles ramming into one another, and the obligatory rescue scene that turns out to be the team just training before the next mission (pretty much every 80s action movie featuring a team of soldiers had one of these scenes!).
Ridiculous, hilarious, low budget and action packed: so therefore, awesome.