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Even though I own the DVD and am a Michael Dudikoff junkie, I don't think I'd call this one of his bests. The story is average (U.S. forces fight against terrorists), the execution lackluster, with some limp direction (and editing) here and there. The quieter moments between Dudikoff and beautiful co-star Felicity Waterman are nice, showing a slightly-romantic side of Dudikoff that is rarely seen. I think he would do well in a romantic comedy. Tone Loc is okay, and the guy who plays the terrorist leader hams it up well enough. The action scenes are typical for these kind of low-budget movies (gunfire from ordinary machine guns seem to cause explosions upon impact, lots of bad guys die, some characters do stupid things like hesitate too long before firing, etc. etc.), the direction looks like it was phoned in, and it seemed like the writers changed plots twenty minutes into the film. Not among Dudikoff's best, but it would beat an infommercial late at night.
But I did work on it.
First off, Michael Dudikoff, heck of a nice guy. Not $40k/day nice but great to the crew. I was amazed at how cheeseball this production was. The USS Lane Victory (a WWII frieghter) was substituted for an aircraft carrier. And the carrier island scenes were shot in a parking lot next to a wall that was painted grey. For the flight scenes, they got the front end of a real Tomcat to stick the actors in. It wasn't gutted or anything so it weighed a few tons and we wound up placing it on a trash bins (that it crushed) so we didn't get the warehouse we were shooting in, in the shot. The F-14 wasn't secured at all and each actor was risking death being in the thing. Kudos to them. Then there was the nuke plant. A power generator in Sun Valley, just down the street from Babylon 5 actually.
I did try to watch it once but failed. But, I thought you all might be interested in what doesn't go into these straight to video wonders.
This movie was so bad , that during the filming there was a change of
director. Director Allan A. Goldstein left the project and was replaced
by Jerry P. Jacobs. Goldstein's credits for directing, writing and
co-producing the movie remained on the official cover and poster
This movie is also so low budget that they used a whole lot of unused aerial shots from the filming of "Top gun". I strongly suggest that you should watch that movie instead of this crap. It's nicely shot , acted , directed and has a good soundtrack.
This movie ? It's a completely forgettable garbage. Only for desperate Michael Dudikoff fans. I give it 1/10.
The fact that "Freedom Strike" was released by Royal Oaks Entertainment should tell you what this movie is like, but if not, let me enlighten you. The budget for this movie was rock bottom, with the filmmakers having to resort to techniques ranging from excessive stock footage use to Los Angeles locations used in a (failed) attempt to replicate Syria. But the biggest crime the movie makes is that it is incredibly dull. The action sequences are slow and clunky, and fail to raise tension in what should have been a nail-biting experience. (And I'm puzzled why the movie got an "R" rating, when the movie is clearly at a PG-13 level.) Dudikoff seems pretty bored, and second-billed Tone Loc is given very little to do. For some time, I have wondered why action star Michael Dudikoff had an over ten year gap on his acting resume where he didn't appear in any movies at all. After watching this movie, I have a pretty good theory - he was being offered nothing but garbage projects like this one.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In a pre-9/11 world, some evil terrorists get a nuclear weapon. Of
course, only the Freedom Strike team, led by Tom Dickson (Dudikoff) can
stop them. They need to do this in a timely manner so President
Mitchell (Karen) (whose first order of business as President surely was
to inform us of all the great deals at your local PathMark) can broker
a peace deal with the Syrians. This clearly won't happen without the
presence of Tyler Haynes (Loc), a military officer deeply involved with
the proceedings, and Maddie Reese (Waterman), a former SAS officer/love
interest to Dickson. Meanwhile, there's some drama at yet another news
station named ZNN. Will they be successful or will the military have to
embark on Mission: Funky Cold Medina? Find out today... (actually,
don't...) Well, sadly, this was the state of DTV in 1998. Just another
soulless/mindless aircraft carrier and plane slog. As if it would
excite any viewer anywhere, at the start of the movie, presumably to
get us sucked in to the story, a bunch of characters sit at radar
screens and some others are continually jawing about military
mumbo-jumbo and coordinates and such. We're officially in the same sort
of territory as Surface to Air (1998), Submerged (2005), Submarines
(2003), and even Agent Red (2000) (like this, also an Andrew Stevens
production. We're learning fast to avoid his stuff). And if you think
the pacing picks up from there, you might as well sit back and get
comfortable, because it's pretty tedious from here on out.
It's unfortunate that top fan favorite Dudikoff wouldn't have something better to do than this, but, on the flipside of that, if it wasn't for his presence - along with some classic Tone Loc - then we'd really be in trouble. Dudikoff does shoot a bunch of terrorists, which is nice, but he does minimal Martial Arts. The middle-east setting makes this a much worse Chain of Command (1994). There are some boring dogfights, and some - not green screen explosions, which would be bad enough - but some CD-ROM explosions. From what we remember, when you wash out while playing your flight simulator in 1994, this is what happens in this movie. Very regrettable. We've seen better explosions while calculating our taxes on TurboTax.
But that's what happened at the end of the millennium - the magic and weirdness of the 80's and some of the 90's was replaced by a predictable, overly-logical, and straight-ahead style with no room for the offbeat in any way. Maybe that would be different if it wasn't an Andrew Stevens production chock full of stock footage of airplanes flying around and whatnot. But this movie is nothing more than a by-product after the demise of Cannon Films. If this was a Cannon Dudikoff, it might be another story entirely. But, as it is, it would fit in rather well with the later American Heroes series of straight-down-the-line military slogs.
But here's the real crime: Tone Loc doesn't show up until 36 minutes in. (We were on Tone Loc watch). And even then, his presence is pretty scant throughout. His voice alone could almost carry the movie - imagine a scratchier, slurrier Barry White. Of course, it's the same as on his recordings. Just why he's playing a military man in a Dudikoff movie is not explained, but that was one of the only things the movie does right. What this movie should have been is be an actioner after the mold of Avenging Force (1986) - instead of Dudikoff and Steve James, it's Dudikoff and Tone Loc busting some heads. Another missed opportunity.
There is a Dudikoff-Art Camacho fight, which is a movie highlight (?), but pretty much nothing can penetrate the overwhelming aura of suck surrounding the film as a whole. It's not Dudikoff's or Loc's fault. It's hard to believe this is by the same director as the enjoyable A Dangerous Place (1995). Finally, we noticed that a man named J.A. "Cappy" Surette was a military adviser on the film. He probably cursed the fact that Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf got to live it up on the set of Crimson Tide (1995) or whatever, while he's stuck on this turkey.
I enjoyed the movie. I like Dudikoff. Felicity Waterman was easy on the eyes. The plot was pretty much similar to all of the "bad guys have nucweps" movie plots. I strongly disagreed, however, with the way the bad guys moved so freely about the "carrier" after interrupting the peace treaty signing. I served in Uncle Sam's Canoe Club (U.S. Navy) for over twenty years -- and no one could ever get that kind of freedom. All the officer of the deck had to do was declare "General Quarters.". But, again, I still enjoyed it.
I am a big MD fan. But, I call it like I see it. This film limped along.
The plot was preposterous. Gaining access to heads of state in this movie
is easier than gaining access to the the local grocery store. Come on!
Tone Loc has the emotion of a wooden plank. Loosen up! The editing is
choppy. The actors, and I use the term loosely, sound as if they are
reading their lines on valium.
This movie could have been better. Dudikoff has potential, but he chooses scripts that just scream,"Stinker".
If you want to watch a good Dudikoff movie, may I suggest Crash Dive or Avenging Force. If you have never seen one of his films, this is not the one to introduce you to his work. You will walk away with a bad taste in your mouth and think all of his projects are this bad.
As a bit of a Michael Dudikoff fan I sat down to watch one of his good
old-fashioned actioners - I'm still waiting.
The film is based around a group of US commandos trying to get rid of a bunch of Syrian terrorists who have taken over a nuclear reactor. Maddie Reese (Felicity Waterman) was an English member of the commando unit and of course she became romantically involved with Tom Dickson (Dudikoff). I must ask since when have the Brits had female SAS members - as far as I know if they are ever needed they are got from other sources. Even if they did I can pretty much guarantee they wouldn't be as wet as Maddie Reese. I would also think that Tom Dickson would be a little more responsible in his position - or have I lost the plot?! I know there is always the romantic angle in these films as it helps provide the feelgood factor, but does it have to be throughout, especially when there's more important things to be taken into consideration - like nuclear warfare!
The signing of the treaty on the US aircraft carrier intrigued me. The "sacred pen" as carried by one of the supposed TV news crew - are there were no security checks to find out who or what goes on board one of these ships, especially with the calibre of people that was on it. Mind you if there was, I suppose there would be no story.
I could go on, but when it got to "inner body bomb defusion" in order to safely remove a bullet I gave up on the action drama movie bit and enjoyed it for the comedy it actually was.
By the way, would a news reporter really say "Downtown Damascus"??
well this movie is so crap. The story was rubbish, the actors were all
b rate. The only plus side is that they have used a whole lot of unused
aerial shots from the filming of top gun. There was even one shot that
was in top gun that they used. This was a highlight being a top gun fan
and an f14 fan. The tomcat was the only thing that made me watch past 5
minutes. I believe the f-14 squadron who did the flying looks to be the
red lightnings that were disbanded in the early 1990s. I would love to
watch all the aerial cinematography that they filmed for top gun but
didn't use. Does any one know of any way this can be done???
any way freedom strike was overall really really really bad. avoid it if you are not an f14 fan.
This film is unbelievable on any level. It fails as an action film
because no one would be fooled for a moment that the props, actors and
scenery are realistic. It fails because even the most gung-ho would see
through the hollow chauvinism portrayed by the film, a hypocritical
might is right mentality.
I'm afraid that I was also unable to enjoy this movue as an (unintended) comedy; it was too lame for that.
This is a rewal pity, bebause with a bit of care and intelligence with the script, and more careful production and direction, it might have reached a 5 on the IMDb scale - I doubt that it could ever get much over that, given the inadequacy of the storyline.
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