|Index||8 reviews in total|
Should have been called PLENTY OF TIME TO TALK. Ted Barner (John
Phillip Law) is hired by a company to transport a freaking' laser
cannon across Indonesia to a mine. Accompanying him are old pal Ratno
(Barry Prima), company exec Martin Forster (Horst Janson of CAPTAIN
KRONOS) and nosy reporter Judy (Grazyna Dylong). On the chase is
Barner's angry former partner Von Clef (Winfried Glatzeder), who has
been hired by Mr. Gull (Christopher Mitchum) to steal the device.
Things get even more convoluted when our team receives word the mine
needs the cannon, like, now because some miners are trapped and - cue
ominous trumpets - Forster's brother is among them.
Law, Prima, Janson, Mitchum! This should have been killer, right? Sadly, that is not the case. A German-Indonesian co-production, you can see they are trying to do THE WAGES OF FEAR (or SORCERER, for that matter) but it is neither intense or thrilling. The first 40 minutes are spent setting up that relatively simple plot and absolutely nothing happens. It is also the kind of movie where characters talk about how important the item they are transporting is, yet they haul it around on an open flatbed. Mitchum gets in his contractually obligated Lanky White Guy Fu towards the end. Law is actually likable and shows a personality here, which is strange to me. Freakin' not giving Barry Prima a single kick to throw? Sacrilegious! Seriously, if I ever sent this to someone, I would type up a small plot paragraph so they know who everyone is and tell them to start at 40 minutes in. Nicht gut, Herr Director.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's not every day you come across a German-Indonesian co-production,
filmed in the latter country as a television movie with a mixed cast
and crew, but NO TIME TO DIE is just that. Directed by Helmut Ashley,
the film chronicles the adventures surrounding a top-secret laser
weapon which must be transported cross-country to save the lives of a
bunch of miners, trapped after a cave-in. Unfortunately a gang of
unscrupulous bad guys also plan to get their hands on the weapon, so
the authorities entrust it to Ted Barner, a former mercenary with a
heart of gold. In turn, the bad guys enlist the unlikely named "John
Van Cleef" , Barner's former partner whom he left for dead in the
jungles of Angola, to steal the weapon, and a chase to the finish
Although in writing the film does sound exciting, sadly it doesn't live up to the promise offered by a European production shooting in an Asian country. The film begins in extra-cheesy fashion as a hot blonde reporter (Grazyna Dylong) finds herself pursued by the lecherous Ted Barner (John Phillip Law) on his motorbike. All manner of chaos and carnage ensues, as her jeep crashes through store fronts and Law's stuntman performs multiple bike jumps to stylish effect. The weird thing is that this chase happens for no reason, kind of like Sean Connery's car chase in THE ROCK. You soon realise that this is because the sequence was probably tacked on as there is no further action until well over fifty minutes into the movie. Instead what we're left with is barely watchable talk, talk, and more talk. The good guys talk and lounge around at pool sides, the bad guys talk in shady offices and nothing else happens much. The long middle section of the film is very boring with the entertainment value next to nothing.
For the last half an hour, the film does begin to become fairly exciting, taking the form of a long chase by jeep and helicopter as the bad guys pursue the truck carrying the laser. Suddenly an unforeseen plot development arises, as the laser is requested to help out the trapped miners. It feels like they made the plot up on the spot as this twist comes out of nowhere and serves to give an added "against the clock" frisson. The gamut of clichés is run through, from the rickety wooden bridge to the minefield and all of a sudden it becomes clear that Ashley and co. are hoping for some Indiana Jones-style adventure and excitement. The only problem being that the film lacks both the budget and talent of Hollywood, so scenes of people fighting on a truck and hanging onto the grill just don't look very realistic. However, this finale is still pretty decent, packed with explosions and a hilarious death scene (a bad guy jumps onto the truck, falls off and is run over by his comrade!).
The lead is taken by the beardless John Phillip Law who fails to make much of the role. The character is bland and Law just doesn't have the charisma here to turn it into an interesting performance. Thus, what we're left with is a massive void in the middle of the film with nobody to care for. Things are amended slightly with the arrival of fellow action man Martin Forster, who I was gratified to see played by Horst Janson - yes, the German fellow from CAPTAIN KRONOS - who seemingly hasn't aged at all in the eleven years since his Hammer performance. Janson's grinning, blond-haired hero is a much more interesting and likable character and it's just great to see what finally happened to him. Meanwhile Grazyna Dylong's feisty reporter is just another variation on the '80s stereotypical "cold" and "sassy" female lead, whilst Christopher Mitchum turns up for name value alone and gets to drown a man in a bathtub. Ubiquitous Indonesian actor Barry Prima also makes an appearance as a good guy who runs into a line of gunfire for no reason and is killed in extra slow motion. Although the non-action through most of this movie makes it a bad film, the ending and cast alone are worth watching for.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
MIC (or "Multi-Industrial Corporation") has developed a super-laser. It
must be transported to a mine to cut through the rock to save the
trapped miners within. The best man for this dangerous job is one Ted
Barner (Law). Of course, he is a motorbike-riding rogue who always has
a snappy retort at the ready. It usually involves calling someone a
"turkey". He takes his friend Ratno Lesmana (Prima) and also Martin
Forster (Janson) along through the treacherous jungles of Jakarta with
the giant laser on a flatbed truck. As if this wasn't enough of a
challenge, a competitor to MIC, Protex, headed by the diabolical Mr.
Gull (Mitchum) has hired Jan Von Clef (Glatzeder) to go after our
heroes with all his goons and steal the laser. Von Clef wants to get
revenge on Barner for a perceived betrayal in the past. Add to that the
presence of Judy Staufer (Dylong), a reporter for "World News Agency"
and romantic rival with Barner, and we have a chase through the jungle
in a race against time. Will Barner and his crew make it and save the
miners, or will Gull and Van Clef prevail? Not to be confused with A
Time To Die (1991), try to imagine some sort of cross between Fugitive
Champion (1997) and Shaker Run (1985), and add JPL (John Phillip Law),
and you may get some sort of idea of what's going on here. There's a
lot of talking and minimal action. There's a lot of corporate intrigue
over this laser, which we have to wait for the entire movie to see, and
when we finally do, it's pretty lame. For a good laser movie, please
see Light Blast (1985). Heck, even Night of the Kickfighters (1988) had
more laser action than this half-baked dud.
99% of the movie is a talky setup for this laser, and it doesn't pay off. What could? On the plus side, we have a barfight with absolutely no setup, funny dubbing, scenic Jakarta locations, and a pretty cool score. And it ends on a freeze frame. Towards the end, there are a lot of wacky sound effects and Benny Hill-style fast motion. That would be fine if this was supposed to be a comedy, but we were promised a laser, not hijinks and antics.
Law is fairly charismatic, but both Mitchum and Prima are underused, and this "JPL: Dangerous Roads" should have been named "No Time To Waste".
Released by TransWorld, No Time To Die is a misfire.
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I was travelling in Indonesia in 1984 and got picked up as an extra for a day, filming some of the chases between the two jeeps near Bogor. I've only seen a rough copied version of the film from German TV, but I don't think my scenes made it. I was 19, got paid US$15 plus lunch, and it was great fun! I had to wear a checked shirt and had my hair blackened and plastered down. I had thought I would be one of many extras, but when I turned up outside the backpackers that morning I was the only one. They then checked I could drive, and I was told to drive the jeep at about 70kph up a hill outside Bogor. That turned out to be very fast, so we had to do it again. I often wondered what happened to the film, and then one day found it accidentally browsing this site.
Awful dialog, a plot that makes no sense, speeded-up car
gratuitous explosions, paper-cutout characters (not substantial enough to
cardboard). A German-Indonesian co-production in which the actors speak
whatever language suited them, and then all the voices were badly dubbed
Nothing about this film appears credible; you may find it unintentionally hilarious, or you may just wonder why they (and you) bothered.
This action film concerning the transport of a laser gun talks itself to death. Crew and cast both show signs that they were caught in the Indonesian heat: the stunts and special effects are bad; whether a good guy or a bad guy, everybody's acting is bad ; there is no decent story; Ashley's directing is hopeless. The film is beaming something conceited like "what you can do in Hollywood, we can do at least as good", but of course the makers were wrong, they simply lacked the talent. They should have used the laser beam to obliterate this film.
The story, the acting, the stunts are deserving a 10 with a very fat
"-" in front of.
The laser gun could be better created by LEGO, the stunts and car chases ( the amateurish without sense and tension )are helping to find minutes in the movie without any dialog, which are absolutely silly... The cast itself with the most unknown ( and untalented ) actors of Germany ( Horst Jansson, known as German anchorman in the German Sesame Street-series of late 70th and early 80th )! Exception is Winfried Glatzeder, but why the actor, who played main character in "The Legend of Paul and Paula", make his signature under a contract for a movie like this could just be explained that he was maybe bankrupt and had to pay his rent, or could not afford a holiday in Indonesia and find his chance with a role in this crap.
At least, the sets of Jakarta ( but a lots of them in the ANCOL holiday park ) and country side of Indonesia are nice, and wasted for a shameful movie like this.
This is probably the most boring, predictable, cliché-ridden action pic
of all time. Let's tick off the familiar details:
* Smart-ass hero who has a quip for every occasion, unfortunately coming across as a total jerk to the audience.
* Blonde babe who starts off being a strong independent woman not needing a bloke, but finally is saved and falls in love with The Jerk.
* A loving brother of The Jerk who teams up with him for a mission, but is sadly killed (usually accompanied by a shrill NNNNNOOOOO!!).
* A huge weapon owned by the bad guys (say, a laser) which looks like it was assembled on Blue Peter with sellotape and used toilet rolls. This is A THREAT TO THE FREE WORLD AND MUST BE STOPPED.
* You'd think with THE FREE WORLD on offer, the bad guys would hire people who could shoot straight. Sadly, even at point blank range, they fail to even scratch The Jerk and The Blonde. Are we surprised?
* Explosions which resemble the aftermath of a particularly spicy vindaloo than huge bombs being detonated. They usually set a couple of stuntmen alight, who put themselves out by jumping into a convenient lake. DO YOU SEE?!
* So-called 'hilarious' buddy talk between The Jerk and his mates that reads like it was written by a 18 year old college dropout while sitting on the toilet (example: after the above stuntman emerges from the lake, The Jerk comments "Well, guess his ass is toast!!" Ho ho).
* A lead villain who spends more time in bed with his collection of exotic ladies and styling his hair than getting involved in the dirty work of stopping our heroes. With such casual laziness. It's amazing that he's in the position he is.
* A compulsory nude scene with one of the above exotic ladies showing off her butt and boobies when getting out of bed. What about The Blonde? Don't be silly.. she's FAR too refined to exploit herself like that. Might have helped her acting career though..
* A MASSIVE final action climax with guns a-blazing, bullets a-flying and fists a-swinging.. is not in this film. A suffocation, a kiss, and that's yer lot. Yep, the best cliché of this genre is the one this movie strenuously avoids. Shame that..
Basically, its not very good. Now pass me the award for 'understatement of the year'. While I practise my acceptance speech, I'll inform you that I give it 2/10. That's it. Now, get lost.
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