A trooper with the British Special Air Service (SAS) infiltrates a radical political group who are planning a terrorist operation against American dignitaries. A glamourized look at the ... See full summary »
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Andrew V. McLaglen
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A trooper with the British Special Air Service (SAS) infiltrates a radical political group who are planning a terrorist operation against American dignitaries. A glamourized look at the methods and tactics of the famed British anti-terrorist squad.The SAS are a elite army unit which as well as its Anti terrorist role also performs covert and overt training of friendly countries armed forces and operates enemy lines. Written by
Keith Loh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A Bondish film without the increasingly irrelevant Bond
With so many then current and future 007 people working on the film, the professionalism is impressive: Maurice Binder (title design), Syd Cain (art direction), Phil Meheux (photography), Gordon McCallum (sound), not to mention the awesome stunt work of Bob Simmons and Stuart St. Paul. Oh, and pretty-boy Lewis Collins was strongly considered as a Roger Moore replacement; probably wouldn't have been too bad (though his running down the hallway at the end of WDW, shirt open, chest hair rippling in the wind was a bit much!).
Roy Budd never did a Bond, though he should have.
There are a number of things going against WDW if you tuck to the left: it's a film loaded with testosterone, it considers terrorist coddeling SO New York Times, the good guys win and bad guys loose. This is not a Steven Segal pink-belt action film; we're not making the earth more friendly for chlorophyll.
Judy Davis owns the screen whenever she's on, the Weatherman-type brat who hates the world and thinks mucking it up further is a good solution. Davis actually manages something here she's not often given a chance to: be sexy.
The hostage scenes involve a wee-bit too much talking and thank goodness Mr. Widmark is on hand. He's not even given very good dialog, but holds his own against the quickly unraveling Davis.
And oh, the action. The hand-to-hand fights are brutal and balletic. The two action pieces at the end of the film, one dealing with the precision rescue of Rosalind Lloyd and the other the retaking of the hostage house are unforgettable.
This played for about a week in Los Angeles as The Final Option, which is a bit better title than Who Dares Wins (although that's the SAS motto). The theatre I sat in was packed, but somehow packed theatres do not always equal "box office."
President Reagan liked it, which meant no critic worthy of his two thumbs could be caught liking it. I liked it so much, I read everything I could on the SAS. If you enjoy watching films Maureen Dowd and Robert Scheer would never understand, this one's for you.
I'm hopeful this and The Wild Geese (another politically incorrect actioner) will show up on USA DVD soon.
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