Saturday, November 01, 2014

U.S. Seals (2000)

Nu Image, more or less the Cannon Films of the 1990s and 2000s, developed a series of U.S. SEALS action movies as a follow-up to its five OPERATION DELTA FORCE pictures. Because of their no-name casts and Bulgarian production base, the indie studio was able to get quite a few bangs for its few bucks, filling the films with good photography, as well as the requisite amount of explosions, bullet hits, and impressive stunts. 

U.S. SEALS finds its gung-ho squad of titular soldiers slipping into an abandoned oil rig, where modern-day pirates are hoarding their stolen merchandise. The SEALs kill several of the pirates, including the brother of bad guy mastermind J. Kenneth Campbell (TURBULENCE). Out of revenge, Campbell blows up the wife of SEAL leader Jim Fitzpatrick (THE GLASS SHIELD), making the SEALs’ original mission now something personal. Fitzpatrick assembles the squad, with the blessing of his boss (Burnell Tucker), and leads them to Albania to kill the guy who killed his wife in retaliation for killing the guy’s brother. Got it? 

Writer David Sparling also penned four of the OPERATION DELTA FORCE movies, and it’s likely the U.S. SEALS script was originally intended as the latest in that series. It’s a pretty standard story, held together by strong production values and slick direction by Yossi Wein (CYBORG COP III), whose experience as a cinematographer likely contributed to the film’s expensive look. That is, if you don’t mind the attempt to pass off Sofia for the United States.

With Wein’s Bulgarian stunt team seemingly game for anything, U.S. SEALS is an entertaining actioner that moves at a rapid clip. Fitzpatrick is handsomely bland or perhaps blandly handsome, but he does play well against Campbell’s more theatrical performance. The acting is not great, though, and the dubbing of Bulgarian bit players is worse.

1 comment:

Grant said...

If it's the one I'm thinking of, it has one cliché I almost never go for. I always like all-out femme fatale characters, the "seductress" kind, but I especially like it when there's a showdown scene between her and the man she's seduced, as opposed to one more of those "cat fight" scenes between her and the heroine. If this is the movie I'm thinking of, it gives you the first thing (which kind of surprised me in an "adrenaline movie" that doesn't have much time for romantic stuff), but it also has one more of those heroine / villainess cat fights, which is a cliché that bothers me partly because I feel like the only one who gets tired of it. (Oddly enough, those HERO / villainess fight scenes I like DO sometimes show up in "formula" action films, like THE MARINE, but not in this one.)