The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

CIA II: Target Alexa (1994)

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I was hesitant to watch this considering it didn't have OJ Simpson like the first one did. Who am I kidding, the film's directed by Lorenzo Lamas, and Kathleen Kinmont co-wrote the script. OJ or no OJ, this shit is right up my alley. No hesitation.

CIA II: Target Alexa picks up where part one left off. Lamas has rejoined the CIA, and Kinmont is hiding out in some small town with her daughter tending to a ranch. One of her old flames has part of a nuclear launch device, and the CIA wants it back. Luckily, in a completely fantastic situation, Kinmont is arrested, and the CIA can use this as leverage to reacquire her services. She infiltrates her old flame's hideout, and almost gets what she wants, before the bad guys with the other part of the nuclear bomb device swoop into the base and take both the part and Kinmont. Now Lamas must team up with the old flame to get her back.

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I hate using this term, but it's the only way to describe the film: it was what it was. We all go in with preconceived notions about what a Lorenzo Lamas directed film of a Kathleen Kinmont co-written script will be, and CIA II met all of those expectations. The acting was silly, the dialog was stilted and unnatural, and there were parts of the plot that were so unrealistic that it made me want to reach into the TV and set everyone straight, as if I was watching Who's on First? And, as you can imagine, I totally dug this. This exudes "so bad it's good".

Lamas hits it out of the park as both director, and actor reprising the role of the awesomely named Agent Graver. As a MSTie, one of my favorite scenes came when Lamas was staking out the baddies' camp while Kinmont was in undercover. He has to make a sudden escape, and in so doing, employs a hang glider. Just like in Ator, this hang glider comes out of no where. It's slightly more believable, because it was factory manufactured, so it wasn't like he had to kill a deer and tan the hides and whatever. Just the same, where he would've kept this hang glider, and when he would've had the time to put it together if he was keeping it in a bag or something, is beyond me. Also, there's a sweet shot of him flying the hang glider in front of a green screen, and it's so reminiscent of Ator, I can't imagine this was anything other than an intentional joke. If so, it'd be all the more sweet.

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The film does a horrible job putting Kinmont in jail. She goes to the local convenience store with her daughter to get some stuff, and these guys in clown masks with shotguns kill the clerk and try to rob the place, before she takes them out lethally to protect her child. The local fuzz blames her for the killing and sends her to jail. Really? You wanna go with that? Local cops dumb enough to not believe her side of the story that guys with clown masks and guns were threatening her daughter when the dead guys with clown masks and guns were lying right there. Then her attorney, played by Magnum PI's Larry Manetti, tells her to plea. Again, you wanna go with that one? Any defense attorney would be salivating at a chance to cut a case like that apart, if, and this is a big if, a local DA was dumb enough to try it. Come on guys, would it've taken that much more to do a real frame up job? She chases down a killer, ends up with the knife, and the cops find her with it and the victim's blood all over her. I loved the silliness of it, but sometimes I wish the people who made these films would sit and think for two seconds about what they're doing.

In order to complete the Renegade cast, Branscombe Richmond has a cameo as a Latin American dictator. I can't lie, I thought that was cool, but where was Lt. Dutch Dixon? Lamas never seems to use him in anything. Maybe Steven J. Cannell, the guy who plays him, is always busy. I just saw so many characters in this movie that Dutch could've played. According to imdb, they've never done anything together other than Renegade. Even worse, this is the only movie Richmond and Lamas have done, with the only credit other than Renegade and this being an episode of Falcon Crest. It seemed so natural in the film, but really it's an anomaly.

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It's Kinmont he's worked with a lot outside of Renegade, with the two of them having 6 films together. Of course, none of these films were released after 1994, which probably isn't a coincidence considering they divorced in 1993, even though imdb says they remained friendly after the estrangement. This is her fourth film on the DTVC. I don't think she'll ever make the Hall of Fame, but based on her filmography, this'll be far from her last film on here.

If you get a kick out of Lorenzo Lamas, and like really bad movies, you can't go wrong here. If you need your bad movie to have a modicum of good movie in it, this might be a bit much. This is the kind of film that separates the occasional bad movie people from the hardcore sadists. I'm firmly planted in the latter category.

Fore more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109360/

1 comment:

  1. Stephen J. Cannell will be my guest on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com Friday July 11 at 5 PM New York time.

    You can talk to him by going to www.garybaumgarten.com and clicking on the link. There is no charge.

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete