A drunken deer hunter, his pilot colleague and his daughter compete with a villainous treasure hunter to reach a lake nestled among the mountains of New Zealand, where a WWII-era plane wreck... Read allA drunken deer hunter, his pilot colleague and his daughter compete with a villainous treasure hunter to reach a lake nestled among the mountains of New Zealand, where a WWII-era plane wreck carrying a fortune in gold is submerged.A drunken deer hunter, his pilot colleague and his daughter compete with a villainous treasure hunter to reach a lake nestled among the mountains of New Zealand, where a WWII-era plane wreck carrying a fortune in gold is submerged.
There are two great helicopter chase scenes in the film (reminiscent of "the Gauntlet") that really show off some of the backcountry beauty of New Zealand that frankly, you would not be able to see without a helicopter.
There are also many later scenes of "expert maneuvers" in helicopter, such as "quickstop-pedalturn-reverse heading", a "hammerhead pushover" or two, "sidewall dismount", and "confined spaces settling". The pilotage is excellent.
The film also shows some of the wild ruggedness of New Zealand's South Island, where(at the time the film was made at least in 1981) the only paved roads are in larger towns and cities, and the country thoroughfares are primarily just "metal" (gravel roads) though always well maintained. And yes, the peaks really are that jagged. No special effects.
Donald Pleasance, as a happy go lucky over the hill sot, plays his character to perfection. He makes numerous muttering quips similar to the humorous mutterings you hear in the vintage "a.a.p." Popeye cartoons. Unfortunately, many of these mutterings in RFYZ are unintelligible without multiple rewinds and equalizing to hear what is said. A bit frustrating, as there are probably a few lost jokes in there.
George Peppard's accent is a very forced upper class snotty, which conforms to his portrayed character adequately.
Ken Wahl and Lesley Ann Warren's characters play well off of each other to establish a typical independent rugged male vs. coddled entitled wenging female dynamic that would be "toxic" if not for nuances of a smoldering mutual sexual interest. There is one very brief fully clothed and appearing to have been intentionally directed "doggie style" movement between Wahl and Warren masked in a "struggling to escape" context that adds a subliminal mild eroticism to the play, but will go right over the heads of the kiddies. (Though may well spark Mom and Dad's fantasies once the kiddies have gone to sleep . . . .) There are no overt sexual references in the film that the kiddies would understand, however there is a brief "wet slip" scene which does faintly reveal the nature of LAW's upper "endowments".
Shooting violence is significant, including use of assault weapons, but amazingly through the expenditures of hundreds of rounds of ammo, nobody ever gets hurt(hooray for Hollywood), nor is their accompanying gore.
Conversational and expletive profanity (all but the F word and genital synonyms) are typical for middle class language, and would likely only be offensive to "devout" types, though may be inappropriate to guarded "inculcation" of pre-teens.
Overall a fun "adventure" type film that all can enjoy as long as the young'uns are thoroughly coached or cognizant that in real life all the gunplay would really end up with lot's of dead people. And a must see for anyone interested in the wilds of New Zealand that could otherwise not be seen, or any student of rotor-wing aviation. Though all shots are exterior, so accurate control inputs are not shown. Choppers used are Hughes 269, Hughes 500C and Bell 206.
- Oct 5, 2008