Thursday, 20 September 2012

The Hunt for Eagle One


Directed by: Brian Clyde
Screenplay: Michael Henry Carter
Starring: Mark Dacascos, Theresa Randle & Rutger Hauer

This low budget, Roger Corman produced quickie (did he ever produce any other kind?) is heavy on the military action and light on everything else. Not that this is such a bad thing, as at just pushing 80 minutes in runtime and starring the great Mark Dacascos, all I want is a lot of action delivered at regular intervals. It’s a generic tale of a pilot (Theresa Randle) shot down in enemy territory and held captive by some nasty Philippine rebels. Dacascos and his crew are given orders to go in and rescue her and, somewhere on the sidelines, Rutger Hauer pops up as a cigar chomping military general barking orders.

The first 20 minutes or so are a little ropey with some dodgy opening credits, ample use of stock footage in the first big action scene and some extremely dodgy graphics used to represent targeting systems, meaning its not until Randle is actually captured and Dacascos and his men set off in search of her that the film finds its groove and gets a little more entertaining. While it’s pretty straight forward in terms of narrative and the bad guys are suitably boo-hiss, we-hate-Americans terrorists, the flick makes up for its shortcomings with some nice shot on location photography, some pretty impressive combat action and the always reliable Dacascos. The jungles are nicely shot and while the budget may not have been great, the action is often well staged. Sure it’s a little rough around the edges but the makers have at least attempted to try and give it a somewhat realistic edge as the actors stalk and shoot one another through jungles and abandoned buildings. The action sees a lot of ammo being dispensed (so ok, maybe its not that realistic) and is explosion heavy and thankfully there is a lot of it.

Dacascos, while not getting to cut loose kung fu wise, makes for the dependable hero and its always good to see him take lead in a film even if he is required to do nothing more than run and shoot here. Randle is good also but is given perhaps too little to do other than be held captive and tortured (and provide a rather sombre voiceover narration!). Hauer on the other hand looks kinda bored, is only in a few scenes and seems to be there only to collect a pay cheque. Still he can chew cigars, and scenery, with conviction and he is a welcome presence in any film.

While it’s maybe a bit too American military gung ho and the lack of budget shows through more than once, The Hunt for Eagle One is still a fairly entertaining hunt through the jungle action film with plenty of M16 firing action that will likely be enjoyed most by fans of military themed action flicks.

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