Chain of Command (1994)
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However this little feature i nor Dudikoff's or cannon's finest hour. Just for starters, i would like to tell you a little about the plot, but i'am prevented as its a mess. All what i could get out of it, was the fact that ex American special forces officer Merril Ross (Dudikoff) is forced to save some hostages taken by a band of mercenaries led by Rawlings (Todd Curtis on a bad hair day) in the fictional country of Qumir. However then the plot thickens and becomes more complex as suddenly the head of a oil company over there Benjamin Brewster ( R. Lee Ermey) decides to try and steal the countries money or something like that. Throw into the mix love interest Maya Robenowitz (Karen Tishman) and you have one boring film.
The complicated plot just seems to slow the film down and there is very little action in it. Only two short piecies of Merril firing two Ak's at once which is quiet refreshing, so i'd say only about 40 people die during the course of this film.
The story is so convoluted that I don't even think it makes sense. The plot is just so hard to follow that it's impossible to care about anything what's happening in the movie. I appreciate action movies with complex plots ( for example The Bourne movies) , but this is not the case here. This is just some nonsense.
There is very little action here and when it happens Well , the action is VERY poor. There is lot of slow motion shootouts and unfortunately they aren't done with John Woo class. The bad guys have such bad aim that it is embarrassing. They are just as bad as Storm troopers from "Star wars" trilogy. Lot's of low budget shooting , explosions and stabbing. Nothing stands out , everything is generic.
Michael Dudikoff ("American ninja") gives an adequate performance here. R. Lee Ermey ("Full metal jacket") seems to be lost and doesn't do anything memorable. Todd Curtis is quite solid as the villain , but it's impossible to take him seriously because of his RIDICULOUS hairstyle. Karen Tishman is a obligatory love interest, This is her first and only movie and it's not hard to understand why. She is ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE here , but she is so SMOKIN HOT that you can forgive her.
This is one boring film. Avoid it. It was made by Cannon , so it should tell how much quality is here. The best part of the movie are the opening credits which look and sound cool. Watch them and don't watch the rest of the movie. I give it 1/10.
'Chain of Command' is a direct-to-video actioner, the last film and dying breath of The Cannon Group.
Well, for those who watch these kind of films regularly I hardly need to describe it. It's merely a variation on the same movie you've seen many times before, par for the course. The script doesn't make much sense a lot of the time and the acting is flimsy with very little if any character development, but that's okay because those things only exist to provide a framework for lots and lots of low budget shooting, stabbing, and exploding.
Watching the action sequences, I started feeling kind of nostalgic because they are sooo 70's and 80's in style lots of slo-mo. Slo-mo of guys flying through the air when a grenade goes off, slo-mo of guys falling from ledges after getting shot, slo-mo of bombs exploding so dramatic! Anyone who grew up watching television in that era knows the style I'm talking about; I guess at the time we all thought it was very theatrical. I suppose that technique hasn't been totally abandoned today, but still...the way it's done in films of that time has a look all its own.
Another element of the style that I got a kick out of was the way the main character can stand right out in the open in a gunfight without a care in the world. Despite there being a group of at least 10 guys blasting away at him he never gets a scratch, and, of course, manages to easily shoot every one them. Silly...oh well, you can't complain too much because even great movies like Star Wars pulled that kind of stuff.
Funny, too, are such wonderful scenes as when the villain has our weaponless hero on the run and forces him to take cover behind a hotel bar. Does the villain, emboldened by the fact that he has two submachine guns and our hero has nothing, walk behind the bar and shoot our hero at point blank range? No! He proceeds to use up every last bullet firing at the bar, the drinks, the stools, the mirror behind the bar, and the ceiling, finally stopping when he runs out of ammo so that our hero can make a run for it.
What we have here is a case of little boys who like to play with little firecrackers growing up into big boys who like to make movies where they play with big firecrackers. Films like this are really for one purpose...destruction porn. The thrill of watching all kinds of stuff get smashed or blown up. Now don't get me wrong, I'm no different than the next guy. I love a good action movie. But I also like an interesting script and engaging characters.
I said before that the acting's pretty flimsy but I guess I can't totally rip all of the performers in this movie. Michael Dudikoff, a legend of this genre, is really not all that bad at times. R. Lee Ermey is in this! Now there's an instantly recognizable character actor. Ermey's main henchman, Todd Curtis, has some surprisingly good acting chops; I actually found him to be the most natural and believable. Looking on IMDb I see that his resume ends not long after this movie, though. I wonder what happened.
Anyway, to sum up...movies like this are made for people who LIKE movies like this, and who am I to judge? It's not my cup of tea, but if you love tongue-in-cheek action flicks then you'll probably get a kick out of this. It has all the right ingredients: the unstoppable hero, the hot girl, the cheesy dialogue, and a healthy dose of mayhem and destruction.
This shows that it was well planned and acted. Everything has room for improvement otherwise I would have awarded Michael 100%.
Ihave also watched most of Michael's movies and never at any time did I regret going to the movie house or buying the movies themselves. I do have a collection of his movies which shows how interesting they are.One thing I also like is that when he is supposed to be violent he does that and if he decides to be cool , he does not have a problem with adjusting.
But my question though is , why don't the movie stars combined just for one or two movies and see what they come up with. The may produce a gem.
Keep up the good work Mr Duddikoff
Praise Nleya Box 8112 Belmont Bulawayo Zimbabwe Africa
The Cannon Group was making its last gasp with programmers such as this one. Directed by David Worth, it lacks distinction for the most part. The action scenes are passable, the opening credits sequence is stylish, and the photography is reasonably impressive. The story is absolutely nothing special. This doesn't mean, however, that the movie isn't without some pleasures. It's got a flamboyant villain in the form of Todd Curtis' mercenary Rawlings, who has a hilariously bad hair day throughout. The final fight between Dudikoff and Curtis is pretty fun. "Chain of Command" gets another shot in the arm thanks to reliable veteran R. Lee Ermey, who's a pleasure to watch as a slick oil company kingpin. Dudikoff himself delivers a fairly engaging performance, and has some mild chemistry with Tishman.
Mostly recommended just to die hard Cannon Group completists and Dudikoff fans.
Five out of 10.
We also see R. Lee Ermey with glasses, a mustache and a bolo tie, and Keren Tishman, who plays Maya, is a horrid actress, but, interestingly, gets hotter as the movie goes on. The jaunty music matches Dudikoff's personality this time around, but still there are some classic clichés such as guard-tower falls/blow-ups, and the prerequisite wacky taxi driver. Speaking of that, this seems to have been shot in some of the same locations as previous Cannon vehicle Deadly Heroes. As far as room decor, there are multiple pictures of Bill Clinton on the walls. Not just presidential portraits, mind you, but one is a painting lovingly recreating his moment on the Arsenio Hall show where he wore sunglasses and played the saxophone! Director David Worth, of Air Strike fame (?), does a competent, if silly job, and underrated actor/director/stunt-coordinator Guy Norris is also on hand. Norris directed Rage and Honor 2: Hostile Takeover, and also worked in various capacities on Day of the Panther and Hurricane Smith, among many other things. His profile as someone in the film industry should be higher.
And we can't possibly overlook the brilliant, hard-rockin' tunes by Canadian band Slash Puppet: "When the Whip Comes Down", and "Rippin' on a Wishbone". These songs are pure hair metal, coming rather late in the day for that sort of music. But they are enjoyable and basically disposable, much like Chain of Command itself. Slash Puppet I tell you. Slash Puppet.
So is Chain of Command one of the best Dudikoffs or one of the best Cannons? No, not really, but you gotta love how 80's-style action continued to thrive into the 90's with this generally entertaining outing.
Lead by the ultra and super hairy, with more hair on his head then the hair on the singing group "The Beatles" combined, gun toting Rawings, Todd Curtis, these terrorist are making it look like the revolutionary Oumir Liberation Front did their dirty work in order to discredit it. And it's now up to Ross to make things straight in the movie. Ross and together with the ultra sultry and alluring Mossad Israeli secret agent Myra Robenowitz played by sexy Keren Tishman, in her first and only film appearance, ends up doing just that.
The hot and heavy action is what makes the film "Chain of Command" watchable with Ross despite all the close calls he has never has his neatly styled hair mussed up or his immaculately clean and pressed clothes as much as wrinkled. There's also the villain in the film big US oil man Ben Brewster,R.Lee Emery, who's behind all this killing and destruction in order to get control of Oumir's rich oil reserves. There's also a side story about the nation of Oumir secretly negotiation a peace treaty and favored nation status with the state of Israel, the Muslim worlds sworn and eternal enemy, that seemed to go nowhere and is dropped halfway though the film never to be brought up again.
***SPOILERS*** Life and death slug fest between Ross and Rawings at the conclusion of the movie which was about as hilarious as any three stooges short. With Ross on the brink of death suddenly pulling an ace from up his sleeve and cue-balling Rawings, in the side pocket, with his trusty pool stick.