Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Marshall R. Teague, Tim Abell, Danny Lee Clark, Troy Mittleider, Daniella Deutscher
Director: Isaac Florentine
Genres: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War
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Solid Florentine Action With Some Patriotism Thrown In
Mike Schorn | APO, AE United States | 03/05/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Not unlike US Seals 2 from two years before, "Special Forces" is an awful representation of the military faction from which it derives its title but is nevertheless a sturdy DTV action movie. Goodness knows why director Isaac Florentine was saddled with these Americana-themed projects, and bless those uninformed viewers who bought them under the assumption that they were to watch something realistic. Make no mistake, Florentine fanboys: even though the cover art of this movie is about as generic as they come, this is a full-out kick & gun show made very much in the mold of our favorite Israeli kung fu freak...so unless you're leery of ultra- pro-American overtones, indulge.
The story: when a beautiful reporter (Daniella Deutscher, "Hang Time") is captured by militant forces taking control of the ex-Soviet republic Muldania, a decorated Special Forces team - including Marshall Teague (Road House), Tim Abell (Soldier of Fortune, Inc), and TJ Rotolo ("Power Rangers" series) - is dispatched deep into enemy territory, where they will be aided by a lethal British ex-soldier (Scott Adkins, Ninja) while fighting the iron will of an evil warlord (Eli Danker, Undisputed II - Last Man Standing).
Early on in the movie, the viewer is afforded close-ups of all five members of the team while their names flash across the screen; this is early foreshadowing that their actual characterization is going to remain at nil throughout the movie. With the exception of Marshall Teague (the young Sean Connery of B-movies) and Eli Danker, almost every character in the film is a cardboard cutout with few scenes to display any kind of personality; this deficiency is nothing new in films like this, but it does make it hard to give a damn when any of the guys die. Yes, this is definitely a film where actions speak louder than words, and in this sense, no one speaks louder than Florentine's golden boy, Scott Adkins: in the first of several team-ups between the director and martial artist, Adkins supplies numerous exhibitions of his swift, acrobatic kung fu throughout the movie, including a lengthy grade-A fight with stuntman/henchman Vladislavas Jacukevicius. The `round half-dozen shootouts supplied by the SF team are pretty good and feature novel use of camera movement, but these pale in comparison to the extravagant martial arts and eventually feel like they're just there to tide you over until Scott starts flying through the air again.
However, the extended storyline eats at me. In what's probably the only reason that the studio felt safe in releasing the movie under the "American Heroes" label, the movie plays out like an idyllic American conquest tale in which the stalwart Yankees take the fight to numberless hordes of immoral foreign bad guys and beat them with pure national superiority - a red, white & blue daydream of pure patriotic melodrama taking place in a fictional European country. The Muldanian militants are less like a group of political extremists than like a faction out of a James Bond movie, with soldiers being heartless idiots in general and head heel Eli Danker doing crass things like shooting politicians on the steps of the capital building without reprimand. Granted, this over-the-top instilment of national pride befits Florentine's over-the-top action, but I still can't get behind it for its sheer one-sidedness of issues like this.
A few illogical moments (e.g. when faced with two dozen advancing militants and a tank, the SF team finds effective cover behind a log) convolute this otherwise soundly-made, straight-forward movie, but chances are that this won't make or break the film for you. Fans of the director ought to add this one to their collection, but while casual viewers shouldn't be quick to write this one off, they should know that it's not great enough to disregard the remaining variety of DTV cinema. At least check out Florentine's other films, first."
Scott Adkins' performance boosts the rating up by at least 2
morgoth | omaha, NE | 04/19/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After an American reporter is captured by a Bosnian warlord, the US Special Forces are given the mission to save her. Scott Adkins is looking for the warlord himself, but for a different reason. And man are they lucky Adkins shows up. He is a one man army and gets the US soldiers out of some tight situations.
The movie moves along at a good pace, but it all comes down to the final battle between Scott Adkins and the warlord's top man. It starts out like a bad wire fu scene but quickly turns into one of the very best action scenes of the 90's. The rest of the action features explosions and thousands of bullets being fired. It gets pretty unrealistic when you have a group of about 8 taking on 500. They are lucky someone didn't just throw a grenade at them. But, all of this can be excused because the final fight is so outstanding. Scott Adkins is without a doubt one of the most physically gifted actors in the world and I can't wait to see what kind of a role he is given in 'The Bourne Ultimatum'.
I would have to name this as Isaac Florentine's 2nd best movie just behind the recently released 'Undisputed 2'. Even though all of his stuff goes direct to video, his movies still feature better action than ANY other American movies.
The DVD from DEJ productions have good sound and picture quality."