"This movie was made close enough to the 80s when all the best action movies were made, and it shows. Brandon Lee fans don't have a large list of movies to choose from, so I was pleased to find out that in this movie he doesn't disappoint. He shows a lot of his good natured personality and sense of humor in the film, which is great to see. There is some slapstick humor thrown in, and that takes some of the edge off of the sometimes violent action. In the action department this movie rivals Showdown in Little Tokyo with gunplay, knife fighting, and physical fighting. There is a good amount of Brandon in the movie, so fan's of his will not want to miss this one. The film is not as slickly shot as Rapid Fire, but I woulndn't compare this film to that one, because they were made four years apart, and the action type movies were starting to change [around 1994], so I view this as kind of a 1980's style action movie (the film was made in 1990, so it just makes the cut). There's something about that style of movie that is still nice to see."
A Giant Diamond, A Tinhorn Dictatorship, And The Worst Accen
Robert I. Hedges | 03/11/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If you value the memory of Brandon Lee (and even if you don't) do yourself a favor and don't watch this movie. I give it two stars overall, but the second star is for extraordinary and unintentional comedy. The film opens with the monotonous and annoying power ballad "Mercenary Man" (the handiwork, I hate to reveal, of David Knopfler, Mark's younger brother) a song that fits the theme of the film, yet is played so often in the course of the movie that you will want to scream if you hear it one more time. Unfortunately for the viewer, the theme song is by far the best part of the movie.
The plot concerns Brandon Lee as Michael Gold, a mercenary US contract agent who travels to Cuba and then onward to some fictional country in Africa (though exactly how he gets there is a bit of a mystery.) This is all in an attempt to bring Ernest Borgnine (as Professor Braun) to the United States as he has developed a method of using a big diamond (which gets a subplot of it's own in an apparent homage to the original "Pink Panther") to make a laser that can start World War Three. Needless to say, Ernest (who has the worst accent in the history of cinema) is also wanted by the KGB led by the stiflingly bad Col. Kalishnakov (named for a similarly-named Soviet-manufactured combat weapon, evidently), and the amorphously evil "Eckhardt" who is menacing with his over-the-top pseudo-Austrian accent and diction skills. Think of William Shatner as an insane, evil member of the SS and you will come close to the degree of overacting present here.
The film boils down to some of the most ineptly directed combat scenes (it's always good to stand in the open when being shot at with a rifle; it is also wise to ignore the archer shooting huge arrows from about three feet above your head, but I digress) ever recorded for posterity. As a sidebar, we get the obligatory romance between Lee and Debi Monahan, an actress with a voice that can shatter glass at one hundred yards. She is supposed to be a super-spy of some sort (that's an issue open to conjecture as well) but spends the bulk of the film shrieking and running through the desert in a dress and heels. To say there is no chemistry between Lee and Monahan is to state the painfully obvious.
There are also plots about diamond mining, genocide, a team of comic-relief communist helicopter thieves, and a family reunion during an amazing turn of events in the last five minutes of the movie, which prepares us for one more round of "Mercenary Man" and the credits.
This film really would have been excellent fodder for MST3K or Joe Bob Briggs. As a final note, since the title of the film is "Laser Mission" it would be fair to assume that there was actually a laser in the movie. That's where you would be wrong: the laser is mentioned but never seen. Apparently it was cheaper to rent a helicopter, a small rocky outcropping in a third-world country, and a VW bus full of fake weaponry than to show a laser. The lack of a laser in the film despite the implicit promise of a laser in the title contributes to the second star I give this film.
It's funny for the wrong reasons.
Alexander Agopsowicz | Victoria, British Columbia, Canada | 02/05/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Of all my time spent on Friday night watching a movie or two, one time was quite rememberable. Enjoyable so. I put in this movie into my DVD player, hoping to see some Brandon Lee class and exciting action, but in this little gem we saw his satirical side. The whole movie was a thrill ride, that frankly, didn't end, and made me want to puke. I'm not sure if the puke came from the absense of acting, staging, plot transitions, wit, generativity, a budget above triple digits, or the little game me and my buds played during the course of the movie. We called it "Take A Shot of Beer Every Time A White Dot or Square Appears on the Top Right Hand Corner of the Screen Or We Catch Glimpses of the Stage Crew". One drunk night...Some one explain to me how they got from Cuba to South Africa. Hell, since realism isn't a factor in that movie, I suspect they drove. This movie also seems to defy medical science, since anyone beat-up/crushed/shot full of two clips/centered in explosion will obviously live, until they are droven into a magical brick wall.I've said enough, and to end, I say "Watch this movie".Its funny for the wrong reasons."
Wanted: Morto Ou Vivo!...
Bindy Sue FrÝnkŁnschtein | under the rubble | 07/27/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Whew doggies! This one's up there with Nasty Rabbit on the stink-o-meter! Superspy and international man of mystery, Michael Gold (Brandon "The Crow" Lee) must save Dr. Braun (Ernest "Devil's Rain" Borgnine) from the clutches of an evil austrian guy named Eckhardt, who has a human head collection in his family room. Eckhardt has also stolen the world's biggest diamond in order to make a deadly laser (which never even comes close to actually happening). Gold travels from Cuba to Africa, apparently via astral-projection, as he simply appears there; where he encounters Braun's daughter, Alissa, who is either a dim-witted superspy herself, or a dim-witted, frizzy blonde bimbette with ever-popping soap bubbles in her skull. Gold and Alissa secure a VW hippie-van loaded with guns and explosives, and tear around shooting and blowing up stuntmen until being blown up themselves (the van that is). Most of the action takes place in the desert, where austrian thugs come at our heroes one at a time, seemingly from nowhere, on foot and on horseback! The whole thing culminates in a sub-par climax at a diamond mine. Watch as Gold is shot in the back, a through-and-through wound that most certainly mulches his liver! Watch as he gets better, without so much as a band-aid! He's tough! Given the choice between watching this again or being roasted alive, I'd put an apple in my mouth and head for the barbecue pit! Take heed..."
This is a "Must Miss" extraveganza!
Alexander Agopsowicz | 11/25/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If you're a Brandon/Bruce Lee fan to the core, just buy this thing, watch it once and be done (Kind of like watching Game of Death only you don't feel tremendously violated after watching it). I saw this movie last year and even though I cringed, it was good to see the late Brandon Lee in something that was "new" to me. If you want a cookie cutter action flick with a bad romance plot, this is the one for you! Also, if you want to be amazed at how many bullets can actually miss an action hero, then this INDEED is the one for you! Believe you me, the sheer amount of bullets that miss Brandon will make your head spin. Talk about point blank!"