On one of his last trips before retirement, a plane of an illegal gunrunner in Vietnam is shot down where he hooks up Annie Belle, a humanitarian rebel.
This is about as typical as you can get for an Antonio Margheriti movie from the early 80's. It's an action movie which takes place somewhere in Indo-China (I'm assuming Vietnam) with David Warbeck, Tony King, and Luciano Pigozzi marching around the jungle mowing down waves of black pajama-wearing enemy soldiers. Lots of miniatures exploding in slow motion, really loud gunshot and punch sound effects, footage recycled from earlier Margheriti films, Rene Abadeza, and lack of any real plot establish this among Margheriti's other films from the period such as THE LAST HUNTER, JUNGLE RAIDERS, and CODE NAME: WILDGEESE.
Besides all the typicality, this film actually is pretty good when it tries to be, especially the nearer it gets to the end. There's some bang-up action sequences, such as a huge toy train explosion (a la BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI) and a great scene where Warbeck and King use gunboat to mow down an entire army on a beach. However, at times this film really, really drags as it's never exactly entirely clear just what's going on.
Margheriti and co. were unfortunately struck by tragedy while making this film when a plane carrying several crew members crashed in the Philippines, which resulted in the death of Riccardo Pallotini, one of Italy's greatest cinematographers of the time. Hence, it's probably understandable why the film doesn't have the "heart" that a lot of Margheriti's previous films had, but it's hard to enjoy a film with so much "baggage". Anyway, if you loved TORNADO and THE LAST HUNTER, then definitely give this a try, as it's more of the same. Expect nothing less and nothing more. The title character is a pilot, who along with his buddies runs guns to rebels in a South Asian country. When his plane is shot up by government forces he's taken prisoner by a different group of rebels than he he has been dealing with. Winning the trust of the group he begins to make the trek to home only to find himself joined by his friends who end up stranded when their rescue attempt goes wrong.
Very good action film is definitely a little gem of a film. With a good collection of characters who are more than stick figures to be moved about between action scenes this is a film where you actually care about what happens. I was pleasantly surprised that I never felt the need to reach over and hit the fast forward button. The action scenes are plentiful and keep the tension up and seem to have been done with care (A bridge attack in the later part of the film had me unsure if it was done real or with a model for most of the sequence). This is a solid little film that worth not only a bucket of popcorn and a soda but also a repeated viewing or two. 646f9e108c
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