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.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Delta Force One: The Lost Patrol (2000)
I've had this in my Instant Queue for some time now, and after a couple Gary Daniels movies I had in my DVD queue weren't sent to me, I went with it because it had been a little time since I'd gotten some Daniels up here. We'll have to do them all eventually, so why not this one, right?
Delta Force One: The Lost Patrol is about a peacekeeping mission between two antagonistic fictitious Middle Eastern countries. When a patrol is ambushed and there are no survivors, Daniels is tasked to lead a recon team to find out what happened. Boy do they find out, as they walk into a big ol' quagmire involving John Rhys-Davies as an arms dealer looking to arm a rebel group with a nuke. Now the remainder of Daniels's crew needs to stop them at all costs.
Wow, this was a total painfest. It was one of those I look at the counter and find out I'm only 20 minutes in, and I'm like "Oh lord! That's it?" and then I look at the counter and there's only 15 minutes left and I'm like "Oh Lord, I still have to sit through 15 minutes of this?" I've had cardio sessions and hiked mountains less grueling than this. Where do I start? Either large pockets of no action, or some of the lamest, most blah action ever. Seriously, who comes up with a scene where Daniels's Jeep drives through a canyon where rebels fire RPGs all around them, but never hit them, from near point blank range? Daniels barely does any hand-to-hand, and it's only at the very end. There's no tension, a plot that's too plodding and dull to keep us interested in the lean times, and characters so cookie-cutter that we don't really care what happens to them. To give you an idea of how bad this is, there's a scene where one of them has a gut wound and looks close to death, and Daniels tells him "I am your commanding officer, and I didn't give you permission to die yet, do you understand?" Ouch.
I don't blame Daniels for these stinkers, because he has to take what work he can get, but it would be nice if the people who cast him could utilize him properly. It's hard to watch him sitting in a Jeep yelling at bad explosions, or delivering bad dialog, when I know how much ass he can kick. For any film makers out there, here's a tip: when you find out you've cast Gary Daniels, ditch the script and have a chat with your stuntmen and fight choreographer about your new movie with Gary Daniels as the star. I don't think that's too difficult.
This was produced by Yoram Globus of the famed (and DTVC Hall of Fame) tandem of Golan and Globus. I think with this project he was trying to dispel the myth that exists here in the US that Arabs are somehow genetically disposed to be brutal, murderous, women haters that would kill us all if they could only get the chance. The movie wanted to paint a more complex picture of people who are pretty much just like everyone else, but because of a small segment of the population that is more barbarous and brutal, and who garner much more of the headlines throughout the world, they are not only victimized, but left without a voice. I applaud them for that, but an action movie isn't the venue. Actors like Gary Daniels, Mike Norris, and Bentley Mitchum aren't the medium to broadcast the message. Great sentiment, but overall idea sautéed in wrong sauce.
If we go back about two years into the archives, there was a film I reviewed starring Robert Carradine called Firestorm. The only reason I reviewed it was because it came in a two-pack with a Jeff Speakman flick Scorpio One. Anyway, that film also starred Bentley Mitchum, who you see below. That Firestorm film was a total laugh riot, and Mitchum was a big part of that. He was nowhere near as funny here, which was too bad, because we could've used him. As an aside, I missed then but found out now that he's Robert Mitchum's grandson. (Our one Robert Mitchum film: Midnight Ride.)
Finally, I'm a big fan of Grand Theft Auto III and now Red Dead Redemption, and something in this film reminded me of a common bug in Rockstar Games' early projects. There'd be these times where I'd do something insane, and the people around me would just walk by as if nothing happened. In Delta Force One, Mitchum and a couple other characters get to this computer console, and one of them knocks out one of the rebels with the butt end of her rifle, while the rest of the rebels go about their business, wandering around near them, totally oblivious. It was very GTA III, though nowhere hear as cool.
All right, you can get this on DVD and Watch Instantly from Netflix, but do you want to? Absolutely not. What irks me the most is that this is so available while so many great DTV flicks are OOP or only on VHS. Is there any justice in the world?
For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0176650/