“Where are the American M.I.A.s?”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
So why, pray tell, does he deem this piece of cinematic drek must-see? Presumably its box-office status (close to the time of GFTFF‘s publication in 1986) was enough to cause Peary to believe that all film fanatics should at least be familiar with it — but this is certainly no longer the case. In truth, this really is a painfully boring “action” flick, one which (I don’t mind admitting) I watched in fast-forward mode throughout the entire second half, without missing much. (As Peary notes, even the action sequences “take forever to develop”.)
And, since Norris “uses guns more than karate”, there aren’t even many fight sequences to look forward to. By the way, I’m not a total Norris-snob — in fact, I’ve given a must-see “thumbs up” to his next film, Code of Silence (1985), and recommend that you consider this film your required “dose of Norris” (whose iconic status as the ultimate in laconic action heroes has, interestingly, continued to grow exponentially in recent years).
There is some minimally campy humor to be found throughout the film, in terms of how often Norris finds excuses to go bare-chested in front of the camera, for instance, or in his consistently “soulful” gaze as he contemplates what he knows he must go back to Vietnam (the “pearl of the Orient”) to do:
— but there’s not nearly enough of this to make it worth subjecting yourself to the entire film.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: