Thursday, 5 February 2015

Operation Hit Squad


Directed by: Tonie van der Mawe & Kathy Viedge
Screenplay: Kathy Viedge
Starring:  Vera Johns, Charles Segal, Gael Taylor, Ken Gampu, Brian O’Shaughnessy

With the above cover, the title Operation Hit Squad, a character with a rocket launcher crossbow, the premise of a group of highly trained commandos heading into some badlands to rescue a bunch of captured rich women and the fact this is from the 80s, one would be right in thinking this is going to be awesome. Alas, despite all the aforementioned coolness Operation Hit Squad was not in fact awesome. Unfortunately this one was a bit of a dud. Sure it has its heart in the right place, what with some rich guys wives needing saving after their plane is shot down by a group of militia type nut jobs and a squad of commando type bad assess hired to go and find them (complete with tooling up scene before they head off on their mission!) but the cheap jack production values, plodding pace and a whole lot of meh, huh and what!, added up to B-movie action blandness.

Nothing wrong with a cheap jack action movie but with too-obvious dubbing of all the actors, cameramen reflected in computer monitor screens (!) and the truly mind boggling scene of superimposed smoke on the plane crashing scene (which makes one ask why even bother superimposing it on when it looks that bad: bad even for 1987!!), the cheapness becomes too much of a hindrance to the enjoyment of the B-movie action. The pace is too plodding (with scenes going on and on with no dialogue for no discernible reason!), with random edits and fades meaning scenes often end abruptly and coupled with a weak attempt at injecting serious drama (the out of nowhere suicide attempt by one of the female captives), one becomes impatient waiting for the action to begin. It eventually does but not until almost an hour in. Ack!

Thankfully this is where the film picks up a little. Not that the action is particularly great as it’s often random in nature with stuntmen running around looking confused and slow motion over used to the point of insanity. However, what it does have is explosions. Lots and lots of epic explosions. When the Hit Squad raids the bad guy’s compound: shit goes boom spectacularly with stuntmen flung around left, right and centre. The explosions are impressive and many of the stunts look extremely dangerous: though bizarrely, but somewhat entertainingly, said stunts are often repeated over and over from every angle imaginable! There is plenty of Uzi fire, running around and even a motorcycle with rocket launchers is utilized in one crazy action moment. See, Operation Hit Squad has all the right ingredients (rocket launcher crossbows and motorcycles!) but just can’t mix them into a tasty entertaining B-movie action whole. For explosion and action film oddity complete-ists only. 


Ty said...

Nice write-up! Looks like a silly movie, will have to find it.

drive2 said...

Thanks man. Yeah it's very silly and low rent but a somewhat entertaining oddity if you can find a copy.

Unknown said...

I was in it! Played the car crushing mercenary. Probably the worst film I’ve ever seen, but as mentioned before..if you like explosions...I can also confirm that one of the stuntmen got badly burned in a scene where he falls off a roof, and one of the other actors got hit in the back by shrapnel! Made me nervous for my death scene, but I’m still here...