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TACTICAL FORCE is another vehicle for bald, hulking, ex-wrestler turned actor Steve Austin, who seems to have become the new Seagal ever since he starred as a villain in Stallone's THE EXPENDABLES. So far, I've seen Austin in a passable variant of Van Damme's A.W.O.L. (called DAMAGE), but this is a straightforward shoot-em-up. It's as much fun as DAMAGE, proving that Austin is an adequate star for fans of light action.
The premise and setting for this movie couldn't have been much cheaper: a small SWAT team are on a training exercise in an abandoned warehouse, but they soon find themselves assailed by various gangster types. Cue lots of drawn-out fight scenes and sequences of characters firing heavy weaponry at each other. It's a workable premise - Tarantino revealed the brilliance of utilising such a setting and a small cast twenty years ago in RESERVOIR DOGS - and the decent pacing makes it a painless viewing experience.
The production values are a little weak if you look at them too closely, and it's fair to say that the cast are well-suited to B-movies; Austin is on particularly dodgy ground here, and would do better to just keep his mouth shut and hit people as that's what he does best. There are some heavyweights (physically rather than acting) in support, like Michael Jai White (just in case you wondered what happened to him after UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: THE RETURN) and the arresting Darren Shahlavi and Keith Jardine, but this looks and feels like a B-movie through and through.
The action isn't bad, but I would have liked a little more of it. The requisite shoot-outs and fist-fights are fun, although the van chase is ridiculously stupid and some of the explosions are a little on the fake side. The ending is also a tad disappointing, getting too mixed up between the bad-bad characters and the good-bad characters. But I went into TACTICAL FORCE expecting nothing, and I got a mildly entertaining movie instead, so I can't complain too much.
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