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Peter R. Hunt
Daniel J. Travanti,
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So Wild Geese II, Nearly every review I have ever come across regarding this film has been very negative and to be honest from reading a lot of them I don't even think many had watched the movie to begin with...
The original Wild Geese - these days a Sunday afternoon guilty pleasure classic that when looked at objectively is actually a fairly routine action film with a join the dots script and pedestrian direction. What makes that film work I suspect for most people is the actual African location photography and seeing a lot of mainly washed-up actors hamming it up ridiculously to pay their bar tabs.
Wild Geese II is very different from that movie, new cast, mainly new crew and made nearly ten years later - Wild Geese II is more of a spy thriller than action film. It offers a much more intelligent script, Great location work in Cold War era Berlin and some genuine storyline surprises. One aspect of the film that I think it really shares with the original is that any of the main characters can get killed at any time although it is a bit more edgy this time around.
Another aspect - in this case bad unfortunately is seeing another washed-up actor hamming for the alcohol bills, Edward Fox in this case who is just plain awful here taking over from what would have been Richard Burton's role. He plays second fiddle here to Scott Glenn - at the time flavor of the month upcoming star to appeal to the American market. Glenn although usually good in other movies is positively catatonic here. The interesting thing is that bad as the two leads are they do not bring the film down as the rest of the cast is filled out with mainly good supporting actors - the standouts being Barbara Carerra in a pretty thankless role as the love interest, an actor who plays an IRA gunman and another actor who plays a British Sergeant-Major. Also Peter Hunt the director deserves credit for keeping the fairly convoluted story moving along at a brisk pace.
So overall not as dated as the original but still dated, better story and better direction but with a bad rep - I think this is an unusual case of a sequel surpassing the original but audiences seem unwilling to give it a chance probably because the first just wasn't that good to begin with.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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