Friday, 6 April 2012
TACTICAL FORCE (2011)
Written & Directed by: Adamo P. Cultraro
Starring: Steve Austin, Michael Jai White, Lexia Doig & Michael Shanks
You’ll know within the first five minutes or so of Tactical Force if it is a film you’re gonna enjoy. Steve Austin and his Swat crew (including the legend that is Michael Jai White and the uber hot Lexia Doig) are called in to take out a bunch of clown mask wearing douche bag robbers holding up a grocery store. So, decked out in all the gear and brandishing an array of high-powered weaponry, the Swat team get ready to swarm the building. But instead of stealthly taking out the criminals and making sure structural damage and risk to civilian life is kept to a minimum this is what happens: Austin tells the hostage negotiator to take the night off; he then, for the lack of a better way of putting it, tells the hold up guy on the other end of the phone to go fuck himself (very professional); once they are in the grocery store Austin is faced with a bad guy holding a customer hostage with a gun to his head but instead of talking the bad guy out of killing the innocent bystander he simply throws his weapon down and charges the both of them (!), sending them flying and knocking down a strategically placed stand of (product placement) Pepsi and likewise, Jai White diffuses a similar situation by subduing the would be robber with a BB gun rifle: yes, a BB gun rifle which for reasons that only exist in B-movie action pictures he is allowed to carry into a hostage situation. If you don’t enjoy any of the above mentioned scenarios and can’t raise a smile at the hair brained goings on, then you probably ain’t gonna enjoy Tactical Force.
Now despite the distinct hint of sarcasm and piss taking in the above paragraph, I enjoyed the above scene and had a hoot with Tactical Force which while isn’t quite the high powered action film the artwork suggests (but don’t worry there is still plenty of decent kick ass action), is a fun romp that in-between bouts of kicking people in the face and fire-powered gunplay injects a welcome sense of humour. Acting as a sort of gentle send up of action films, while still being a decent one also, Tactical Force sees our Swat team scolded for all the destruction they caused and all the human lives they put in danger and are sent off to re-learn what it is to be a level headed and professional member of law enforcement (see, being a wise cracking action hero with a complete disregard for human life and fondness for wholesale destruction doesn’t always pay off!). Sent to a remote training facility to run through rescue drills they stumble onto a bunch of gun toting crooks (headed up by Stargate SG 1’s Michael Shanks) up to no good. Wise cracking, gunfire and the inevitable wholesale destruction ensue.
It’s the fun time that the cast seem to be having that makes Tactical Force enjoyable. Tongue firmly in cheek the film never takes itself seriously with Austin, Shanks and especially Jai White all having a blast sending up their tough guy characters. Michael Jai White (no stranger to comedy after the awesome Black Dynamite) especially seems to be having a riot and provides many of the laughs as well as a few feet to some faces. The action is punchy and full on if a little rough around the edges and while Michael Jai White doesn’t quite get to cut loose like he did in say Blood and Bone or Undisputed 2 he still has a neat, albeit brief, fight with fellow action stalwart Darren Shahlavi (also having a good time playing a complete douche of a bad guy). Austin does his thing (and even cracks a smile on a couple of occasions) has a few nice brawls where he gets to smash bad guys through walls and there is plenty of automatic weapon gunplay to sate the action fan as well.
Even the ridiculous and irritating amount of F-bombs, the incredibly annoying editing tricks and Avid farts (ugh, stop this already!) and the fact the characters do, on occasion, spend way too long waffling on and on about this and that when they should be kicking ass and blowing shit up, doesn’t ruin Tactical Force from being the trashy fun it is. Plus, any action film in which Michael Jai White names his bazooka after his grandma and emits the quite, quite amazingly hilarious one-liner, “Eat my grandma” when he uses said bazooka is alright in my book. And if you’re a fan of action films and B-movies (and don’t take yourself too seriously) then it should be ok in your book too.