Navy Seals (1990)
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Sheen, Biehn, Whalley, Kadi, and Paxton do workmanlike jobs with stereotypical roles. The plot is all formula but treated in a slightly unusual way and the action sequences are excellent. U.S. Navy SEALS (The good guys) stumble on a cache of weapons in the hands of mideastern terrorists (the bad guys.) The first attempt to get the goods fails, and in the process of tracking down the cache, everybody's best buddy dies (see if you can guess who THAT would be!) There are more tragic deaths before the finale, which, of course, includes hand-to-hand combat between boss baddie and our hero.
This is very definitely a promo for the U.S. Navy, with terrific shots of U.S. weapons, heroic depictions of our boys in action, and simple, demonized baddies. But if that kind of thing sets you off, it should be pretty obvious that this is not the film for you!
The most positive thing about this movie are the great action scenes which look pretty realistic (the gunfights in Beirut, for example). Nice use of the camera (although it looks a bit 'TV' in some places) and very authentic looking scenery (with some nice details, e.g. like that destroyed Israeli M113 in the background).
But the amazing thing is (personally) one of the best music scores in an action movie ever (which unfortunately I can't seem to find anywhere). I mean, Sylvester Levy really did his job right. Every time they head for action, they are followed by excellent instrumental scores which give this film and the scenery much more depth (my favorite one plays when they are running for the shore). Unbelievably good.
So, must have seen it a couple of dozen times and still like to watch it for the above reasons. It's not a deep movie, just good war action and great music. I enjoy(ed) it. Maybe you will, too. Personally, I'd rate it as 6, objectively at 5, IMDb 7 at least (should have more since atrocities like The Rock get 7.3 average).
This movie is certainly not a feast for the brain, but neither is it intellectually devoid. The issue with the journalist in the movie is startlingly relevant in today's world, for example. I doubt it was intentional; it's likely that it was put in as a weak attempt at adding conflict and depth to a flat script. But hey, take what you can get, right?
The real strong point of this movie, for me, is the set design. This was shot back in the old days, when neat backdrops couldn't just be drawn in with computers over a bluescreen. The Beirut scene at the end of "Navy SEALs" has some of the best *real* urban combat sets I've ever seen, right up there with the Hue scene at the end of "Full Metal Jacket"... though not quite as good.
I don't know if the sets alone make this movie worth watching, but they do for me. It's generally mindless action, but that doesn't mean that it's without substance; just because "Navy SEALs" doesn't meet the standards of a "great" movie, with well-developed characters and all that junk, doesn't mean it's awful. "Navy SEALs" doesn't include much script depth because it really doesn't need to. That isn't the point. Do you think that real Navy SEALs would make well-rounded characters in the Hollywood sense? These soldiers *can't* have strife within the team, *can't* have little internal conflicts that, in most movies, would be considered interesting. That just isn't realistic.
As American Shadow Vice President I was just told the new code to the American Nuclear War Football, its so long that it now has to be written down. If Russia launches a nuclear first strike against America then I Brad HD Morgan in advance give the order for a defensive nuclear strike by the United States of America against the aggressor Nation. The code for the American Nuclear War Football is: "Motivation is a big word forge R EAM Day U Stoners Orcas I Seal Just. Connfidence JFK is high. There's trouble in Russia Pattern. Strike. Strike. Strike." I apologize in advance to my boss American Shadow President Jack Kennedy for writing F I dense JFK. JFK did well repeating Latin like I did well repeating French. I apologize to Green Day for hinting that they are stoners. The Stoner is the name for an old Navy Seal assault rifle as well. I am law abiding. Its the old story, what if the American Leadership was in a foreign nation and had to issue nuclear strike orders and that foreign nation tried to arrest the American leadership. The American and British nuclear deterrents are the only thing keeping the free world free.
There are other Charlie Sheen Movies worth watching also.
The only character I really enjoyed was Bill Paxton as "God", how awesome. A ridiculous movie by all means; just how so many stars were sucked into this low level production I'm not entirely sure.
It is Very entertaining. And it is very action-packed-pewee.
But all the feminist also shall have some masculine movie to hate, I think it is this one.
Why can't you love this action-packed piece of work. Yes, it is not 100 % realistic. BUT IT IS A MOVIE.
But in these terror-times this movie gets even better.
I will call it "Top Gun" on the ground - for it is that, which it is. It is made at the same time (80ties). And it is about a small team of guys, doing Americas work against the evil elements.
It is very entertaining. Don't miss it.
The battles were also chaotic in their look and feel which is a lot like reality. So many times in movies things as scripted so well that battles look organized and clean. In reality very few times does anything go even close to how it's planned. Soldiers need to improvise and think on their feet. People you've known for years are killed or wounded right beside you.
I won't give away anything, you'll have to see this movie for yourself. But once again, Biehn is excellent as the leader of the squad of SEALs. Sheen also plays a good role as the headstrong rookie who years for combat. And the amusing thing is there's always one like that...and he either wins the Silver Star, or he gets all his friends and/or himself killed...or both.
The one problem with this movie is, in an attempt to capture the true chaos of battle they lose some realism. If you want a good blend of both chaos and realism I would recommend Saving Private Ryan.
This film was too ambitious and way ahead of its time, but I have to give it an "A" for effort!
On the other hand, watching it on cable the other night, it proved to be the entertainment it's meant to be and nothing more. Let's hope the real Navy Seals will be more selective in picking someone that is as misguided and egocentric as Lt. Hawkins, who disobeys his orders and causes the death of a man that shouldn't have died.
This film appears to be a vehicle for Charlie Sheen who was at the height of his intense period. Michael Biehn plays the man in command, Lt. Curran with flair. Joanne Whalley is seen only briefly. The rest of the cast, notably, S. Ephata Merkerson and Dennis Haysbert contributed to make the film better than it is.
All in all, this is a film for action fans with not a lot of expectations.
Yes, the movie is intelectually devoid (just like Randall says in Clerks), but it's supposed to be that way - it's an action movie. Go rent it, and do not feel ashamed, hell everytime I go into the video store I always grab the video off the shelves and in a real loud, nasal voice, I say "WOW, NAVY SEALS!"
Final Thoughts: Poorly written, underdeveloped characters and a slow pace sink this one. The whole cast suffers from poor material and so do the viewers. I wouldn't go near this one, unless you feel like almost two hours of boredom.
The film opens with a U.S. Navy helicopter crew trying to rescue personnel from a burning civilian ship. Unexpectedly, an enemy gunboat plies through the clouds of smoke and unleashes a hail of gunfire that kills two of the crew and riddles the tail rotor. Down goes the chopper and the terrorists take the crew hostage. In Norfolk, Virginia, Graham (Dennis Haysbert of "The Unit") is about to get hitched when his buddies and he receive an alert to report to work. His bride to be cannot believe that they are walking out on her before they can exchange their marital vows. The Seals show up in time to catch the Arabs just before they can kill all the hostages. They save the pilot and the badly beaten co-pilot, but Hawkins (Charlie Sheen of "Platoon") follows his instincts when he should be obeying Curran's orders. The team stumble onto a full-scale terrorist operation as the villains are about to move a shipment of deadly American-made Stinger missiles. These weapons are particularly lethal because they are not only portable but also hand-held. Suddenly, terrorists pour out of nowhere to attack the heroes. Curran decides to evacuate his men after the terrorists gun one down.
When they reach headquarters, the big wigs decide that Curran should have stuck around to destroy the Stingers. Eventually, when their own intelligence community cannot furnish them with answers about the whereabouts of the terrorists, Curran persuades a beautiful half-Lebanese journalist (Joanne Whalley-Kilmer of "Scandal") to help them.
The thing that dates "Navy Seals" the most is "Cobra" composer Sylvester Levay's 80's style music. John A. Alonzo's photography is an asset. Teague orchestrates the action so that it builds to a climax when our heroes invade Beirut to blow up the Stingers and Hawkins gets to redeem himself.