Monday, June 30, 2008

Laser Mission

In this 1989 film, the late Brandon Lee plays mercenary Michael Gold who is sent to the African country Kubango to convince Dr. Braun (Ernest Borgnine) to defect to the US. Braun's work involves using diamonds to create powerful lasers, but the Soviet KGB has just stolen the world's largest diamond. If they can get hold of Braun as well, then it just might be the end of civilization as we know it! Those darn Soviets do get hold of Braun, and Gold has to go after him. And fall in love with Braun's daughter (who suffers from a terminal case of "1980s big hair") along the way (well, duh).
The first note that I wrote about the film was the horrible 1980s faux Dire Straits song used over the opening credits. Even worse, the song is reprised in just the second scene. I thought to myself that this is the worst Mark Knopfler impersonator that I've ever heard! Well, the joke's on me, sort of. The music is by one-time Dire Straits member David Knopfler, Mark's brother. The song was reprised at least six times during the film before I gave up counting.
This movie is pure cheese, but at least it's well aware of its hokeyiousity and never takes itself too seriously. Once it starts going, it even has a few laughs. C'mon, I mean, the bad guy is named Colonel Kalishnakov, fer gosh sakes! There is one early scene as Gold steals a jeep from a pair of hapless Soviet soldiers that had me rolling on the floor. Gold keeps encountering these two, and they provide some cheap and intentional laughs during the preceedings.
The action scenes are strictly low budget, but are performed and presently competently. Lee shoots, kicks and punches his way across Africa, and there is no doubt that he had a screen presence. This was his first film, but he would only make three more before he was killed during an on-set accident while filimng The Crow in 1993.

1 comment:

  1. Hey! You should not be rolling on the floor laughing, after eye surgery! tcha.