Maurizio Merli keeps this one afloat
Lunar Strain | United States | 11/07/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Fans of Italian cinema know that any film with Maurizio Merli can't be all that bad. This man has a carisma and screen presence to him that can't be riviled. You can't help but go along with anything this man does on screen.
Still even with Maurizio Merli as the main star doesn't make Convoy Busters a great Euro Crime film. Compared to his other Euro Crime gems like Violent Naples, Rome Armed to the Teech and The Cynic the Rat and teh Fist, Convoy Busters come sout being one of his weakest (and last) outings in the genre.
Merili plays his typical Dirty Harry type come who has extreme methods when it comes to upholding the law. When he connects a high political figure's son to a killing he then gets reassinged to a different precinct. While being head hancho at the new station he stumbles upon illegal smuggling of weapons. He also finds time for love with the beautiful actress Olga Karlatos (best known for the eye-ball scene in Zombie).
Director Stelvio Massi keeps the film moving at a brisk pace with some great action and a few b****-slapping scenes (for which Merli is famous for) but the film is oddly structured. There's a lot of twists and turns that don't finish the plot of the previous section. The film is like two different movies with Merli not tying up events from the first half. This is a shame as most viewers will feel somewhat cheated by the end.
Overall Merli still makes this movie extremely watchable. Merli oozes machoism and toughness from start to finish making thsi film a must for fans of Euro Crime films as well as american fodder like Dirty Harry."
There are better Italian cop thrillers
Manfred Zeichmann | Austria | 11/21/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In his movies, the late Maurizio MERLI was Italy's version of Clint EASTWOOD's DIRTY HARRY character. Refered to as "commissario di ferro" (the iron detective)MERLI is fondly remembered among Italian genre film afficionados for his many tough-as-nails, more often than not vigilante cop roles. Being a fan of the "polizioteschi" genre (violent Italian cop movies of the 1970ies), this DVD was a mandatory purchase for me.
Alas, I was mildly disappointed.
Not that CONVOY BUSTERS isn't worth your while, but I found it much weaker than other MERLI efforts like SPECIAL COP IN ACTION or ROME ARMED TO THE TEETH.
One of the flaws of CONVOY BUSTERS is the story (two completely unrelated plot threads). Commissario OLMI (MERLI with his trademark moustache) investigates the death of a teenage girl and a young man and is able to link these murders to a "honorable citizen" (the head of the customs office) with mob affiliations. Several action sequences later, the baddie manages to escape to Switzerland and is never heard of again. The remainder of the movie concerns OLMI's efforts to rid a small coastal city (to which he had been transfered) of a gang of arms smugglers. There is a gapping plot hole: OLMI erronously shoots an innocent bystander confusing him with an attacker; oddly this incident does not have any consequences at all for our hero (his transfer was unrelated and agreed upon earlier)!
There is plenty of action, but sadly it is rather unremarkable. A standout scene has MERLI's character chasing some baddies with a helicopter, while the villains try to get away with a van. The iron detective has ample opportunity to show off his marksmanship, as he shoots the driver and then picks off the running baddies one by one! Otherwise, CONVOY BUSTERS isn't that exciting actionwise!
There are however many good extra features: There is the film's trailer and a picture gallery (with images from the film under review as well as other MERLI movies) and lots of interviews with MERLI's son, his former agent, an actor friend and two directors, all of whom fondly remember MERLI. It is actually quite moving, as you get to know MERLI on a personal level through these interviews (MERLI is sadly no longer with us, he suffered a heart attack in 1989 while playing tennis.) There is also a trailer for a police movie COP ON FIRE starring MERLI's son.
A real great addition is a small colour comic book MILANO CRIMINALE: THE DE FALCO SOLUTION (admittedly thin pagewise), which was a fun read! I wish more DVDs had such comic book extras!"
The wrong side of average
Trevor Willsmer | London, England | 06/19/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Stelvio Massi's Convoy Busters aka An Inconvenient Cop is a meandering affair that ticks boxes without much enthusiasm without ever really holding together and often feeling like three different rough treatments for a cop at odds with the system movie that got awkwardly combined in the hope that something would stick. It's watchable enough if you've nothing better to do, but apart from an amusing early warning signal for arms smugglers (a local TV channel pulling its striptease show for technical reasons and replacing it with an old movie!) there's not much in the way of imagination on display. The wrong side of average.
As if to compensate for the film, NoShame have gone all out on the extras with several inhterview featurettes, stills and poster gallery, trailer and even a comic book!"