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McBain gets bored...unlike the audience!!!
crawfrordboon28 May 2004
This is a rather nonsensical action drama, with plenty of (entirely unintentional) comedy to go round. To start with, the film itself is called 'McBain.' Anyone who saw that famous Arnold spoof in 'The Simpsons' could be forgiving for looking twice at this title, which essentially features the same cut-and-paste plot, cheesy acting, and incoherent developments that Wolfcastle parodied. It's really nothing great but worth watching for the belly laughs at all the countless errors and overbearing cheesiness!

The 'plot' involves a Vietnam Vet Bobby McBain (Walken)whose friend Santos, a Colombian revolutionary, is killed by the evil dictator on live TV, whose sister comes to McBain to help organize a revolution in that country. For no real reason, other than to alleviate his self-confessed boredom and to avenge his Columbian ex-colleague from Nam, he and his gang of overtly gay middle aged nerds get into a little prop plane and fly off to Colombia to do this.

I started writing a review for this, but deleted it because it ended up totally incoherent. No wonder really, as the madness I was trying to chart is so messed up it's really hard to know where to start. So instead of indignantly providing analogies of McBain's sheer crappiness, I'll just list a few examples from the film which sum it up suitably:

• several people are murdered by people who we have seen die themselves moments earlier

• the special effects, especially some mid-air explosions, look like they were done by a small child with a chemistry set

• at one point, McBain is sitting in the co-pilot seat of a small prop plane. Flying next to them is a jet whose pilot is trying to force them to land. McBain pulls out this stupidly small pistol, and shoots the jet pilot, who crashes, despite the noticeable non-smashing of either windscreen!

• Some rebels attempt to infiltrate the presidential palace using a stretched limo. The driver opens the boot and four men jump out. Four! • Near the end of the film, a government soldier was asking an old man at a café if he has seen Christina, the rebel leader. He beats the man who doesn't tell him anything. This is great because at the next table are a load of American mercenaries in sunglasses, Hawaiian shirts, and fedora hats!

• In a similar vein, during all the battle scenes the good guys can generally just stand around without so much as a bullet touching them, where the bad guys get routinely mowed, and in many cases clearly fail to even notice the machinegun-toting middle aged mercenaries!

• The doctor of the group has to perform emergency surgery on a little girl after a battle. He says she would die without proper facilities, but McBain tells him to go ahead as she would die anyway. After briefly slicing her with a little knife (the girl has had her rib cage severely crushed), she sits there for a second, and smiles! The stupidest survival from mortal wounding since Marie in Biggles: Adventures in Time.

• A tall, Germanic looking drug dealer is really running Colombia. Predictably, he is called Hans.

• A typical example of the nonsense value of the plot: the group doctor declares he is going to stay with the wounded to help them. Then, in the next scene, he is back doing soldiering!

• And another: at the start, the guys are told the Vietnam War is over, and they get into their helicopter to fly home. All of a sudden they see one VC on the ground, and decide to launch a full scale covert assault on a POW camp they hadn't even seen. Yeah, that's exactly what you do right after getting discharged.

• You know a movie is in trouble when even the extras don't look convincing. I blame the director.

Normally I like mercenary movies. They make great viewing and the body count is typically high enough to make up for the lack of plot. Skeleton Coast and Wild Geese were both enjoyable. But McBain, thanks to a total lack of plot development, realistic effects, bearable acting, and tongue in cheek humour, comes across merely as a convoluted, confused mess. In honesty it looked like a load of set pieces had been brought in from a variety of scripts, banged together any which way, and then tagged together with the formulaic 'South American dictator/drug baron revolution' shtick.

Don't get me wrong I sat through it fine, it was never boring, because I was splitting my sides most of the time at the hilariously bad production values and situations. There are some pretty good moments, such as when McBain's gang kidnap a gangster called John Cambotti and dangle him off a skyscraper pretending to be Israeli agents. That part was cool. But the set-up for it, where they killed everyone in a crack house without either taking the money or destroying the drugs, and getting a lecture from the drug chief, was so artificial I just didn't understand why it was put in. Needless to say, mindless killing and slaughter is only entertaining if its well done on a technical level, unlike this ham-fest, where someone is dragged out of a window after a ceiling fan and hundreds of extras overtly mis-time their exaggerated death throes

There is lots of violence but some of it is so poorly done that it actually looks funny, which is not always a good thing. I bought this DVD for £1.49, which in retrospect seems like a bit of a rip-off. I'll hang onto it though, for any occasion in which I want to either play drinking games for number of dead etc, or as a showcase for some truly shoddy film-making.
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Great action-packed revenge/war movie!
When I first heard about the title, I thought of 'The Simpsons', just like so many other reviewers, but when I saw the cast, I was completely stunned, that so many great character-actors would actually be in this! First of all, we have Christopher Walken (Deer Hunter, Pulp Fiction), who plays the title character, McBain. He is rescued from a Vietnam POW-camp by some of his buddies, one of which is Santos (Chick Vennera, Yanks, The Milagro Beanfield War), who splits a HUNDRED DOLLAR BILL with McBain (Vietnam soldiers are loaded with cash apparently), and tells him that he can re-do the favor to him, if he ever gets into trouble.

Then, 18 years later, Santos and his sister Christina (Maria Conchita Alonso, The Running Man, Predator 2) join the rebels in Colombia trying to get rid of their evil dictator, El Presidente (Victor Argo, Taxi Driver, King of New York), and when Santos fails the mission, Christina goes to McBain for help.

McBain then asks his good ol' Vietnam buddies to help him. First there's the token tough black guy, Eastland, played by "American Ninja"'s Steve James, who was also in director James Glickenhaus' previous movie, "The Exterminator", where the exterminator's real name also was Eastland, coincidence? I think not. There is also a lot of other references to The Exterminator, among other things, the most notable one being that McBain himself wears a welders-mask when Christina sees him for the first time, when he is working on a welding-job on top of a bridge!

The other guys in the Vietnam-pack are: The rich guy who can afford all sorts of equipment for the team, Frank Bruce (Michael Ironside, Total Recall, Starship Troopers), and then there's the doc, Dalton, (Jay Patterson, TMN Turtles), and last but not least, there's the cop, Gill, who has had enough of his unsatisfying job, he's played by Thomas G. Waites, who some of us might remember from The Warriors and The Thing.

And in other big roles, we find Luis Guzmán (Boogie Nights, Carlito's Way), as a small-time drug-dealer who can't get a decent job. Also, there is Dick Boccelli as the drug-dealing kingpin who gets hung up in a crane on top of a roof by the McBain-gang, almost Exactly in the same way he got hung up over a meat-grinder by John Eastland in the EXTERMINATOR-movie! Now, I haven't seen Glickenhaus' "Shakedown/Blue Jean Cop" yet, but I'm almost ready to bet half a hundred-dollar bill that Boccelli gets hung up in that movie too!

Well, back to the plot of this movie.. they go off to Colombia and saves the day, yay! But who cares about the plot anyway, the cast is great, and the action-scenes are very well done, and you're never bored while watching this movie! Highly recommended to all action-lovers!
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You'll laugh your butt off...
LuvsFood17 May 1999
Christopher Walken leads a batch of Army buddies against Colombia to avenge the death of his friend at the hands of the military regime. Since their Army days, Walken and his merry men have become successful and/or affluent, and seeing them take off as a group on a dubious military adventure requires some pretty heavy suspension of disbelief. But that's just the beginning. You'll see middle-aged men out-fighting hardened government troops. Pistols and Bic pens find uses their inventors never dreamed of, and desperate field surgeries are performed under the worst conditions, with 100% success. All of it done in an appallingly casual way, that is deader than the deadest deadpan humor. You'll truly laugh your butt off - nonstop yuck-yucks from the guy who brought us Shakedown and The Soldier. See McBain as a double feature with Taking of Beverly Hills if you want to see how durable your spleen really is.
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Awesome Film! So Much Violence.....
pete_protivnak24 August 2003
First of all i'd just like to say this movie rawked more than any of the recent crap that hollywood has cooked up out of its bowels. McBain is a true action film with more violence than most viewers can handle. It has all of the classic elements of a late 80's/early 90's action film....the random gratuitous acts of violence (ie. when Walken and crew go in to confront the drug dealers to get money they just show up and kill them rather than letting them live and just taking their money), the snapping of necks, the guys on fire, the guys that get blown off buildings, and of course the guys who are on fire that get blown off of buildings. Walken is at his finest in this picture delivering memorable lines such as, "let's go sit..........out on the deck." and others that make this film a top buy off of the clearence rack at the local video store. if you have a bloodlust for unnecessary random acts of violence rent this movie today and satisfy your thirst.
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If you enjoyed The Exterminator, you'll love McBain!
John Seal16 January 2002
Okay, 'enjoy' is a pretty relative term, but flexibility is in order when you're dealing with a filmmaker of James Glickenhaus' calibre.

McBain is truly one of the most ridiculous, over the top action films I've ever seen, without the nasty edge of The Exterminator. Other reviews have commented on a suspension of disbelief regarding the film's heroic middle aged commandos, but how about making a film in the Philippines that is set in Colombia? All the extras are Filipino. In fact the only character who looks remotely Hispanic is good ol' Victor Argo as the much reviled 'El Presidente'! Oh yes, we also have Maria Conchita Alonso overemoting like crazy as a rebel leader. There are tons of explosions and bodies flying everywhere in this amusing paean to the glories of American imperialism.
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One of Walken's worst roles.
This was an absolutely terrible movie. Don't be lured in by Christopher Walken or Michael Ironside. Both are great actors, but this must simply be their worst role in history. Even their great acting could not redeem this movie's ridiculous storyline. This movie is an early nineties US propaganda piece. The most pathetic scenes were those when the Columbian rebels were making their cases for revolutions. Maria Conchita Alonso appeared phony, and her pseudo-love affair with Walken was nothing but a pathetic emotional plug in a movie that was devoid of any real meaning. I am disappointed that there are movies like this, ruining actor's like Christopher Walken's good name. I could barely sit through it.
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Maria, my mighty heart is breaking… I'll be in the HumVee.
Coventry26 July 2009
Ah, McBain… The character name is immortalized and forever ridiculed by "The Simpsons" but it will also always – to me personally, at least – remain the name and title of a tremendously entertaining and outrageously violent early 90's action flick; directed by the cool dude who brought us "The Exterminator" and starring two of the most ultimately badass B-movie heroes Christopher Walken and Michael Ironside (the latter with a cute little macho ponytail). I guess "McBain" will largely have to be labeled as a guilty pleasure, because there's no way I can convince anyone this is an intellectual motion picture. The film is unimaginably preposterous (most action heroes take on a small gangster posse … McBain takes on an entire country) and yet takes itself way too seriously. The script is a non-stop and incoherent spitfire of clichéd situations, nonsensical twists, compulsory sentimental interludes, grotesquely staged action sequences and utterly implausible character drawings. It's a totally delirious movie; I loved it.

Vietnam POW McBain's life is saved by fellow soldier Roberto Santos on the very last day of the war. They each keep half a dollar note as a symbol that McBain is in Santos' debt. Eighteen years later, Santos is a spirited rebel leading the revolution against the corrupt president of his home country Columbia. Santos initial attempt to take over the power fails and he's publicly executed on El Presidente's balcony. His sister travels to New York with the dollar note and turns to McBain for financial assistance and manpower. McBain and his former Vietnam buddies, who all coincidentally happen to be fed up with the injustice in this world, charter themselves a miserable little plane and fly to Columbia to open a gigantic can of whoop-ass.

Okay, let's not fool each other here. The fact you're reading a user- comment on "McBain" already indicates that you have some sort of interest for low-budget B-movie action. One of my fellow reviewers spent quite some time composing a list containing all the main stupidities and insensible moments of "McBain". This list is totally accurate and I can only concur with it. Heck, I could even add some more senseless sequences to that list (like the preposterous and needless heroic self- sacrifice of a soldier who doesn't even have any affinity with the goal of the mission and the rest of McBain's squad), but what's the point? You definitely know not to expect a 100% coherent and plausible masterpiece. We know from beforehand this will be a silly and exaggeratedly flamboyant movie, and it's maybe even the exact reason why we want to check it out! This is a terrifically outrageous and exciting movie about a bunch of former Vietnam buddies turning into mercenaries and declaring war against the corrupt Columbian president and the national drug cartel. Please don't expect another "Apocalypse Now". This particular motion picture relies on the ruff 'n tuff acting performances of the macho leads, a whole lot of explosions and gunfights and – last but not least – a fantastic soundtrack in which Joan Baez sings a cover of "Brothers in Arms".
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Dr. Gore7 August 2003
Warning: Spoilers

I bought this one from Blockbuster for three bucks. The title "McBain" instantly made me think about the McBain character from "The Simpsons". In the various clips they showed on the show, McBain was always trying to take down Latin drug kingpin Mendoza. "MEEEENNNNDDDOOOOOZZAA!!" I was hoping Walken was going to do a Schwarzenegger impersonation while gunning down insane amounts of Colombians. Well, there's no Arnold impersonation but Walken does get the lead out. Of his machine gun that is.

This is a ridiculous B-action movie. When you see Walken hanging out in the jungles of Colombia wearing a Hawaiian shirt, you'll be laughing. Walken is asked to come to Colombia to settle some scores. His old army buddy was killed there and Walken decides he owes him a violent revolution. So a handful of guys take on the Colombian army. It's a B-movie war.

If you're into insane B-movie body counts and idiotic action scenes, you'll get into this one. If you need more coherence and logic in your action flicks, steer clear.
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The Action Movie to End All Action Movies
Pete Protivnak11 June 2002
If you like Christopher Walken, and you like hard-core unbelievable action and unnecessary violence, rent this movie tonight. The amazing array of hilarious faces that Walken makes in this movie is more than enough to justify renting it. If you want an action movie that is exactly what you'll get, Mcbain truly delivers action like no other.
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Christopher Walken as a brave hero in an exciting film with frenetic action and amusement
ma-cortes20 September 2006
A Vietnam POW called Robert McBain (Christopher Walken) is freed by a valiant soldier (Chick Vennera) who is killed while is trying a state coup in Columbia (though it was shot in the Phillippines and not actually in Colombia as the movie depicts) . Years later , McBain is appointed by his sister (Maria Conchita Alonso) , then he leads a band of veterans (Michael Ironside , Jay Patterson , Thomas G.Waites , Steve James) into battle against Columbian cartel . As Walken and crew do kidnap a character similar to Gotti and extort money from him to finance the coup in Colombia . The posse of mercenaries join together to infiltrate by means of an airplane in Columbia and bring to justice , both , the country's leading drug crime King -Pablo Escobar- and his own corrupt Prime Minister (Victor Argo) . They hold several risks , odds and dangers .

The picture is plenty of action , blast , explosion , battles and numerous kinds of vehicles : planes , jets , buses , jeeps get blown up . It's disconcerting combined , including a little bit of violence when the fights happen , romance between the protagonists (Walken and Conchita Alonso) and brief characterization of the various roles . Christopher Walken is nice as the two-fisted , he-man starring , he is an one army man who wrecks havocs a group of evil-doers . The movie provides fast and furious entertainment and action with no sense developing itself in great agility , fast paced and movement . The scenes shot all around New York City were in fact real locations such as the Drug House, The Hospital , The Brooklyn Bridge and the Hudson River , everything involving Colombia was shot entirely in the Phillippines .

The motion picture was regularly directed by James Glickenhaus . Being born in New York City where he usually shoots his movies . Glickenhaus served as the chairman for the film company SGE Entertainment from 1987 to 1995; this company specialized in both making and distributing low-budget independent straight-to-video fare . He's an expert on violent action movies and so-so films as proved in this ¨McBain¨, ¨The soldier¨ and this ¨Shakedown¨ . He's also directed a Jackie Chan vehicle titled ¨The protector¨ , the eerie thriller "Slaughter of the Innocents" and the attractive sci-fi romp "Timemaster¨ and of course the extremely violent , low-budgeted and successful 1980 movie , ¨The exterminator¨ , a cruel Vigilante drama . And James was the executive producer for the movies "Maniac Cop," "Frankenhooker," both "Basket Case" sequels, "Ring of Steel," and "Tough and Deadly" . Rating : Average , 5,5/10 but entertaining . Mediocre but entertaining .
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Awful! Horrible! Painful!
J.D Martin8 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I purchased this film on the cheap in a sale, having read the back of the DVD case and assuming that either way I can't lose, it if was rubbish then no loss, if it was any good then bargain...

Then I watched it...

I am normally a fan of Christopher Walken, but in this film he commanded very little screen presence, seeming not to do a whole lot, even the death of his friend near the beginning which sparks off the "action" in the plot seems to affect him very little, and his eventual revenge is just boring and undramatic.

Normally a film which has themes as grand as revolution and revenge are able to capture the audience and snare them into feeling something for the characters, however watching this film felt more like seeing a series of confused, and almost random events that loosely tied together towards it's eventual conclusion...

At this point I wept...

I thought this film was the most horribly painful piece of viewing I have ever been subjected to, the scene where the pilot sacrifices himself by refusing to jump out the explosive laden truck due to not wanting to kill any civilians is not so much tragically sad as it is unnervingly horrible and painful, although not quite as bad as the emergency surgery on the wounded girl. The acting was poor all round, the script and story was weak, the "action" was even weaker, and the "visuals" were but bluntly not all that visual. To summarise there are films which are good, films that are bad, films that are so bad they are good, films that are terrible...

And then on a whole new level is "McBain"
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Hairy World-Weary Mercenary Fairy-Tale
Bezenby21 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Everybody's got bills to pay, and that includes Christopher Walken.

In Vietnam, a group a soldiers discover that the war is over and are heading back home when they spot a bunch of POWs, including Christopher Walken. Following a Mad Max 3 (!) Thunderdome fight, and a short massacre later. Walken and some Colombian guy split a dollar bill promising something or other.

Cut to the present (1991), and Colombian guy is leading a revolution against El Presidente. He's successful at first, but after El Presidente threatens to crush folks with a tank, he's forced to surrender and is shot in the head on live television. This is shown in full gory detail as a news flash on American telly, which leads Walken to assemble the old squad (even though he wasn't actually part of that squad to begin with), in order to invade Colombia and gun down thousands of people.

McBain is a monumentally stupid film, but for all that it's also a good laugh, and action packed too. This is one of those movies where logic is given a wide berth - how else could Walken shoot a fighter pilot in the head from another plane without suffering from decompression, or even breaking a window? Also, it seems that these guys can gun down scores of drug dealers in New York without the police bothering.

There's plenty of b-movie madness to chew on here, from Michael Ironside's diabolical acting in the Vietnam sequence, to the heroic but entirely pointless death of one of the heroes, to the side splitting confrontation between Walken and El Presidente, and let's not forget the impassioned speech by the sister of the rebel leader, being watched on television in America (nearly brought a brown tear to my nether-eye, that bit).

It's out there for a quid. Buy it if you have a sense of humour. See how many times you can spot the camera crew too.
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One of the funniest films ever!
theboycaoimhs1 October 2007
I don't have much to add to my summary, this film ranks right up the there with Top Gun as one of the funniest films ever made while not trying to be. I for one don't think it should be taken seriously when watched as it is very enjoyable.

I don't think it brings Christopher Walken's reputation down either as his reputation was on the wane back then anyway. It took Pulp Fiction to wake him from the slumber he had been in. As for Michael Ironside, he has been in some of the great funny while not trying to be serious films. Total Recall, Top Gun. What I think is amazing is the budget this movie had. The scenes and actors and explosions etc. are quite amazing so obviously someone liked it quite a lot and was willing to risk a lot of money. Whoever he or she was I like them because I love this film!

If anyone reads this looking for information on McBain (and I seriously doubt there'll be too many) just know that it is a hilarious movie and should be viewed with a smile on your face!
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Hugely entertaining B-movie thriller
Leofwine_draca16 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
MCBAIN is another hugely entertaining B-movie thriller from James Glickenhaus, the man who bought us THE EXTERMINATOR a decade before. This film is just as fun, and almost as violent, although it lacks the nasty, gritty edge of that movie. Things begin with an outrageously over-the-top Vietnam flashback which outdoes RAMBO in terms of body count, before moving into the present-day story. The corrupt president of Colombia is ripe for a coup, but when a rebel leader dies in the attempt, mercenary Christopher Walken is called in to sort things out. He assembles his old team to help out, which includes B-film stalwarts Steve James (in one of his last roles) and Michael Ironside (as completely bad-ass as ever). What follows is a string of South American action set-pieces, involving aerial combat, village ambushes, enemy compound attacks, and machine gunning and rocket launching galore. It's cheesy and low rent, but with tough guy Walken at the helm, the beautiful Maria Conchita Alonso (of THE RUNNING MAN fame) at his side, and Victor Argo as the imposing villain of the hour, it's never less than entertaining.
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"Dat's de Johke"
pyrocitor11 April 2016
Don't kid yourself: you're here because you want McBain to be an hour and a half of Christopher Walken flooding the screen with bullets and blood, swaggering through the gloriously gratuitous action movie carnage while spewing one-liners like everyone's favourite Arnold Schwarzenegger parody from The Simpsons. And if he chose to adopt a half-baked Schwarzenegger impression, melded with his legenDAry eNUNciation? Well, the screen might just crack under the ecstatic deluge of cinematic gold, the viewer whisked away by choirs of cigar-toting angels dressed like periwinkle goats, offering them margaritas in glasses covered in googly eyes.

Alas - the movie gods do not always deliver, and we can only wonder how writer/director/schlockmeister James Glickenhaus sleeps at night for deluding us (if you answer "on a pile of money, surrounded by beautiful girls", you're a-okay with me). What we get with McBain is a movie that's in many ways just as silly, though less willing to make peace with it. It's probably one of the better B-movie Rambo knock- offs lumbering around the $0.99 DVD bin, if only because it's so earnest about its serious political aspirations in its tale of jingoistic, macho, white saviour interventionism it's kind of adorable. For those turning the film into a drinking game (and, again, why else would you be here), look for each moment Walken is framed heroically by some piece of American iconography - welding on the Brooklyn bridge, or crabbing next to Lady Liberty - or, later, posturing in front of the Colombian flag. You won't be disappointed. Or sober.

To his credit, Glickenhaus crafts a mighty impressive action sequence. As Walken and his war buddies stage a military coup in Colombia (though amusingly apparent as the Philippines, right down to the distinctly non-Colombian extras), with explosions, bullets, tank and plane chases galore, their blowouts are so fun that we even temporarily transcend the evident cheapness that permeates the rest of the film, from its wobbly dialogue to its grainy, washed-out cinematography. There's even the occasional striking image - a shark-painted helicopter soaring over the gorgeous cough-Vietnam(?)-cough scenery, and the opening sequence, where a group of discharged GIs rescue Walken from a bamboo cage POW camp because America, it's actually fairly thrilling, thanks largely to some stylish cross-cutting and Christopher Franke's pounding musical score.

But, thankfully, before things slide into being too respectable and/or dull, Glickenhaus grants us enough bits of wonderful weirdness to make it worth our while. Here, Luis Guzmán cameos as a self-righteous drug dealer, who indignantly protests why McBain's crew didn't rob a richer fat cat to finance their revolution than him (so they do, dangling him from a crane), and the United States president orders the printing of red, white, and blue currency as a galvanizing stand against drug cartels. This is the sort of excellent nonsense which makes the world go 'round.

As an additional layer of disappointment, Walken doesn't even get to play outrageously campy action star here; instead he's a sun hat and sunglasses-wearing Hannibal Smith type, leading his A-Team of buds (including the famously grumbly Michael Ironside, who has fun as a multi-millionaire who sheepishly jettisons his life of opulence to go romp around Colombia) with quiet authority as they blow up most of the countryside. Walken's clearly too bored to be as flamboyantly weird as he is at his best, but, lack of grandstanding aside, he can still do no wrong. He's charm personified in a clumsily shoehorned-in love subplot with Maria Conchita Alonso's revolutionary widow, and his nonchalant delivery makes even his most unassuming lines brim with hilarious banality (the best: "she's gonna clear the runway. Or she might be dead. More that that, I don't know"). And, mercifully, he comes away with at least one iconic Walken moment: a patented monologue comparing the corrupt, repressive regime murdering dissenters and getting children addicted to drugs to his time at Woodstock, which is in such hysterically poor taste it's genuinely spectacular - though his taking a camcorder 'revolution selfie' with his mini-A-Team is pretty excellent as well.

This might not be the McBain you or The Simpsons want, but the inherent pleasure of 'Christopher Walken does Rambo meets The A-Team' still provides its share of dispensable, wacky, gloriously overkill macho silliness to ween yourself off your disappointment with. Just imagine Walken bellowing "MENDOZAAAAAA!!!!" as he explodes through the ceiling to confront 'El Presidente, and the world is immediately a better place. Ice to see you, too.

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Prequel to Expendables
oscarlawren5 October 2015
Typically period-movie, not very good, not exceedingly bad, clear division between the good and the bad. Story about a handful of mercenaries supplying revolution to south- America. Simon Bolivar and Rambo in one package. Anyone familiar with the Stallone vehicle The Expendables will recognize the similarities between this picture and the Expendables fighting El Presidente. This might be called the unauthorized prequel so to say without the bravado and speed of the Stallone picture. Not very uplifting, cliché-filled, but worth every teenage penny, if you like the thrill to be fast and easy and like the old style novel with torn banknotes and honour-killings. I lacked the patience to concentrate dully on this movie, harvested from a rumble sale. Not memorable and soon forgotten. Nicer period-character is Mrs Fletcher from Murder she Wrote. Thrown in the problem of US POW's after withdrawing from Nam, solving it with an ambush and killing th bad guys.
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Not too bad
amadeus-275 July 2006
I expected worse when I picked this one up for 99p in the local supermarket - cheap effects, awful plot and other things came to mind. Luckily, it wasn't as bad as I thought - the budget must have been considerable, the plot is OK (well, as OK as action flicks can be) and over all it's quite entertaining. Walken has this screen presence which, even in this rather "early" work, just comes over very well. All the locations look well done, and nothing indicates that this movie was done "on the cheap" - not very often that you find something like this in the bargain bin. If you want to add a cheap to buy action flick to your collection, without missing big explosions, then this is for you.
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Not That Bad, But Not That Great!
Corndog20122 March 2002
Christopher Walken is Robert McBain - a P.O.W. who was once rescued by a soldier named Santos. After Santos' death, McBain returns the favor to Santos by helping his country do battle with their president and his army.

The beginning of this film was basically the best scene put into this film. The rest carries on a little boring, but not awful. The title itself is suppost to convince you that McBain is like John Rambo of FIRST BLOOD. Watch carefully! The other characters portrayed in this film are actually more heroic than him. So a thing that could improve this film would be a different title and a little more action.

What worked for me in this film were the action scenes that did keep my eyes glued to the screen. Some low-budget films can do that to you. Just watch and see!

McBain is not that bad, but then again, not that great. If you want some real action films, try FIRST BLOOD or DIE HARD.
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works as a late night movie!
TomStrange6 January 2002
This movie is pretty cheesy, but I do give it credit for at least trying to provide some characterization for it's principles. There are some great moments in the film and the dialogue has some great moments as well.

The aerial assault sequence is perhaps the best part of the movie.

I guess I really like the idea of what lengths a veteran will go for a fellow veteran. Sure it's not all that well done, but the premise is not at all bad.

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Coxer994 July 1999
Walken finds himself saddled in a routine action picture about a group of rebels who take on Colombians.
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While there are some cool aspects to this movie, we can't wholeheartedly recommend it.
Comeuppance Reviews31 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Back in 'Nam, Santos (Vennera) rescued McBain (Walken) when he was captured and made a prisoner. A bond developed between the two men, as represented by a ripped hundred dollar bill. In the present, Santos is leading a revolutionary army in Colombia against the dictator oppressing their country. When Santos dies in that fight, his sister Christina (Alonso) goes to New York to find McBain. McBain then agrees to help Christina finish what Santos started, and rally the revolutionary rebels to victory. To do this, he re-assembles his team of old 'Nam buddies, including Eastland (James), Dalton (Patterson) and Frank (Ironside), among other helpers. Will McBain's team - and the people of Colombia - be victorious? Thanks to its cast and its professional sheen, McBain was one of the more well-known action titles around video stores back in the golden age. While it may not have had the visibility of a Van Damme, Seagal, Stallone or Schwarzenegger vehicle, it did have Christopher Walken instead, which is interesting - you don't see him in roles like this too often. The only other one that comes to mind is The Dogs of War (1980). Walken's square hair and Steve James wearing a Wrestlemania hat brandishing a rocket launcher is a great combination.

At its heart, this is just another exploding hut/falling guard tower movie, it's just glossier. Imagine your standard "El Presidente" movie (for an explanation of this, see our review for Hour of the Assassin, 1987) crossed with the camaraderie of Last of the Finest (1990). The film tries to be all things to all people, throwing a lot at the viewer: A Vietnam movie, an urban thriller, an airplane slog, A Mercenary action movie, and the aforementioned El Presidente and Exploding Hut scenarios are thrown in too, and the movie, trying to accommodate all these things, is overlong.

Alonso is there to provide the societal comment and relevance to supposedly justify all the action, and Steve James proves he's one of the most under-appreciated and awesomely cool stars of the era. And who wouldn't want to do what McBain's team does - get the old gang back together to bust some heads? This A-Team-inspired scenario is appealing, but there's way too much fat around this steak. The middle section, where the gang is in New York City taking down the baddies, is excellent. The whole movie should have been THAT. But there's all this other stuff, like an interminable tangent about airplanes and bogeys and such. In our eyes, even though McBain is of a higher quality and budget than a lot of the stuff out there, that ends up being irrelevant because the movie doesn't live up to its potential. That New York City section, rather than just being a color on the action movie palette listed earlier, should have been expanded and brought to its full flower.

While the movie is called McBain (not to be confused with Frank "Bulletproof" McBain or the Simpsons character), it's really not ABOUT Christopher Walken's character per se. We don't know that much about him, and the movie doesn't really revolve around him. It's more about his team and the Colombian rebels scenario.

While there are some cool aspects to this movie, we can't wholeheartedly recommend it, which is a shame, because we'd like to. But the NYC portion of the film and the presence of Steve James, while they can't support the whole thing, are bright spots in this mixed bag of a movie.

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i just didn´t believe it
harryinkoeln7 June 2002
this is the best action no-brainer since schwarzenegger´s COMMANDO. it´s absolutely pointless, the action scenes are totally insane, walken is bored out of his pants, all in all some heck of a laugh. i especially love the fly-by-shooting scene. cracked me up. everytime i watch this masterpiece it makes me gag. watch it with some friends and a huge supply of beer and you have one hell of a party
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