Low Budget Producers Should Be Grateful For The Philippines.
Many islands in the Philippine group, due to their lushly tropical appearance and unending supply of extras, serve as surrogates for other southeast Asian venues about which a substantial cinematic genre has developed, depicting United States military personnel or U.S. mercenaries who are tasked with stealing behind enemy lines or into proscribed sectors in order to rescue a prisoner, and this is a representative example, not a very engaging one (despite a plot twist) largely because of erratic pacing and poor use of settings. Action in the melodrama opens in Thailand as veteran C.I.A. official Karlson (John Ericson) attempts to locate three American Vietnam war veterans of his knowledge, latterly mercenaries, so that they may regain for him his kidnapped wife, and we watch as the trio is found and offered a large monetary reward for her successful return, with the leader of these soldiers of fortune, John Cromwell (John Calvin), soon discovering that the lady has been removed into Laos, held there by yet another American adventurer who is waiting for a ransom payment from Karlson. So into the opium saturated Golden Triangle (border between Laos, Myanmar and Thailand) go the sturdy three, their smooth interaction with each other, and with various weapons and explosives proving too formidable for the scores of sitting duck river boat pirates, narcotics traffickers, and kidnappers who deign to impede their progress, as not even the unwanted accompaniment of a Hmong female jungle warrior, and of a displaced infant, can effectively interfere with the heroic triad whose skills include that of evading with ease hundreds of rounds of ammunition while consistently felling their foes with single shots. The movie is not to be taken seriously, despite occasional proselytising after the plight of the Hmong mountain people, but it offers little of entertainment value for an intelligent adult, consisting in the main of a succession of briskly edited sequences of combat. The scoring would seem to be designed for another film, and flaws in continuity are rampant, with perhaps the most flagrant example occurring following a late night raid by the three hardy lads upon an enemy encampment. After Cromwell and his two mates slaughter many of their hapless rivals, survivors from among these give pursuit in a jeep when instantaneously (from one frame to its successor) the chase has gone from complete surrounding darkness of night into the mid-day sun. It must be presumed, however, that most audiences for this type of movie will not notice or care about such shortcomings. As with many contemporary "B" films, the title refers to nothing at all.
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