Thursday, December 19, 2013

Rare Flix: Red Scorpion

It's only fitting to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela's life's work by covering a film that *allegedly* was funded by supporters of Apartheid.  It's not the reason why I decided to review it, but out.  That's probably not the best choice of words, is it?  Today's film is Red Scorpion, a somewhat-dated film with a lot of political history related to it.  Does the name Jack Abramoff ring a bell?  It should.  When he was going down for some dubious double-dealings, his connection to many political figures came to light.  Yeah, they weren't happy.  Feel free to Google a detailed list of what he did.  Before most of that went down, him and his brother Robert decided to make a movie.  When filming in Switzerland fell out, they took some money from a group associated with 'the powers that be' in South Africa to make the film there- allegedly.  They all claim that they didn't know, but...who just takes money from a stranger?  Right.  So much for 'don't play Sun City,' Jack!  This film stars Dolph Lundgren, playing a role that he would later play in both Men of War and Bridge of Dragons.  In hindsight, they should have called this Red OF Scorpion.  Dolph burn!  In all seriousness, this is an interesting (and loud) bit of Cold War Era trash.  To find out more, read on...
Dolph is a Spetsnaz Soldier who is sent on a mission to take out a Rebel Leader in South Africa.  Where's Charlie Wilson to break dozens of laws to put a stop to this since (apparently) he loved Afghanistan.

Sorry, it's not often that I get to point out the hypocrisy of the late-Senator (as reported by the film about him).  Damn your charm, Tom Hanks!
Where was I?  Oh right, Dolph breaks the Rebel Leader and an American man (M. Emmet Walsh) out of Russian Prison.

It's all part of their plan to have him integrate into their group and take him out at night.
Before that can happen, we must have a TEN MINUTE truck chase.  It's a cross between the bit in Mitchell and that scene from The Matrix: Reloaded.  It's slightly faster than one and worse than the other.

Feel free to guess which one is which.
Oh and his plan fails.  He gets caught and left for dead.  He gets something worse though.
In a twist that nobody saw coming, he is tortured by those evil Russians and Cubans, who are apparently working together in South Africa.  They...have a plan or something, I'm sure.

The real plan was apparently behind the scenes as one group (the International Freedom Foundation) funded this film to undermine the other (the African National Congress).  The latter is still around, while the latter is not, however.
Dolph is rescued by a Tribesman and taught their ways.  The people take him in and are nice enough to give him a taste of Faith No More's 'Epic.'

That one's just for you, Bob.  Enjoy.
Dolph finds peace and a new purpose: to kill the people that he has worked for his entire life.  Yeah, he's kind of a dick like that.
He turns into Rambo- ironic when you consider that he was trying to kill Stallone only two years earlier- for this bit blatantly stolen from Strike Commando...I mean, Rambo: First Blood- Part 2.   Seriously, just look at this!
When he finally confronts his old Boss, Dolph and him hash out their differences and realize that Communism is not the way to go.

No, just kidding- he blows him up.  The End.
Boom.  That's really the message to take away from the whole thing.  Bad people use guns and explosions to get what they want.  To counter that, good people use guns and explosions to stop them.  I'm sure that there is a moral there.  This is a film co-written by a guy who spent nearly four years in Federal Prison, so it's not that surprising.  The only thing to take from this is that the Russians were bad people.  Right- got it.  They've definitely taken a turn for the better with their President who scoffs at his own Electoral Law, a KGB that locks up political rivals and their anti-gay legislation.  I just keep contradicting myself today- odd.  All political stuff aside, this is a dumb, message-less Action Movie.  It was Co-Written by the man who Wrote Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie and All Dogs Go To Heaven 2, so who's shocked?  Take us away, Credit that the DVD apparently tries to ignore (only Olsen is Credited)...
Next up, an Action Movie from the 1990s starring Ice T.  It's always a good sign when your movie is ripping off a Wesley Snipes movie.  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. I brought up this garbage pile just the other day to some kids, trying to explain who Nelson Mandela and apartheid were all about... how we boycotted stuff, like this movie. Not that it's hard to boycott something I never intended to watch in the first place... but I do remember my friends making a point of not going.