7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Not what it seems.
Paul Morris from Brisbane, Australia
23 September 2005
The other two reviewers seem to have this TV-movie confused with some
kind of Japanese animation show. Surely they would realize from the
summary and cast listing that they're on the wrong page. I found an old
copy of this on VHS for sale at a video store here in Australia, and it
appears to be the pilot for an abandoned TV series called "Final
Tactic", in which a police lieutenant reluctantly hires ex-cons who are
the best in their fields to help crack-down on organized crime, because
the police department's usual methods are failing.
Bradford Dillman makes a surprise appearance as the evil-doer and
spends much of the movie-length show outwitting the lieutenant and his
cons, until a rather spectacular climax at his hilltop estate in
Hollywood. There are a number of exciting action sequences, including a
lengthy car chase and a helicopter crash into Dillman's pool! The plot
involves the star player of a state basketball team being thumped
across the head in a parking lot in an apparent mugging, but the shady
financial dealings of team officials proves otherwise. There is a good
story here, and the lieutenant investigates and carries it on nicely,
with his new recruits doing all of his dirty work along the way.
"Final Tactic" or "Force Five" as it must have been called in the US
(which makes sense, as there are five on the team - lieutenant and four
cons) also makes excellent use of the various southern California
locations made famous in movies of the early seventies. Places
long-gone like J.C. Agajanian's Ascot Park Raceway and the original
toll booths on the Vincent Thomas Bridge make wonderfully-nostalgic
backdrops against the action, and for a TV movie from the seventies it
does seem to have quite a modest budget and has all the magic and
sparkle of a Hollywood blockbuster. A shame that it never appeared to
evolve into a TV series, and even more of a shame that such TV series'
and even TV movies aren't as well-written and acted as this one was! A
thoroughly recommended viewing if you can track it down somewhere.
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