Friday, 21 March 2014

Fantasy Mission Force (1983)

This movie's ability to turn the utterly insane into utter tedium is really quite impressive. I mean, this is a film with WW2 Japanese soldiers riding 70s muscle cars, chariot style, into battle while dressed like extras from a Conan film, and yet all the scene manages to be is dull.

Plot-wise, we've basically got 'insane comedy version of the Dirty Dozen'. A super-tough military commander assembles a group of misfits for a secret mission to recover four generals who have been captured by the Japanese, and are being held in Luxembourg. No, I don't know why they're in Luxembourg, either. There's also a half a million dollars to be had, which seems to be more what the team is interested in.

Anyway, after a run-in with small time crooks Ellie and Sammy (Jackie Chan, who gets top billing despite his small role), the group next encounters a horde of cannibal Amazons. Their commander is killed in the initial confrontation with the Amazons, but they eventually win free, spend a night playing mah jong with hopping vampires, and then face down the aforementioned Japanese horde in what's probably meant to be a Wild Bunch like finale. Why you'd do that in a light comedy I don't know, but as it totally fails to evoke any emotional response other than 'oh good, the movie's nearly over', it doesn't much matter.

There are many other films with much better - and more frequent - Jackie Chan antics. Movies that also have enjoyable plots. Go watch one of those, instead.

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