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  McBain Revolution In The Headwound
Year: 1991
Director: James Glickenhaus
Stars: Christopher Walken, Maria Conchita Alonso, Chick Vennera, Michael Ironside, Steve James, Jay Patterson, David Pegram, Victor Argo, Forrest Compton, Mark Hammer, Richard M. Royer, Raul Aragon, Joe Basso, Russell Dennis Baker, Luis Guzmán, Marshall Thompson
Genre: Drama, ActionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: As the Vietnam War ended, a group of American soldiers were being flown back to their base, ready to go home, when they noticed a prisoner of war camp below and had a brief discussion over whether they should land and see if they could free any of their fellow troops unlucky enough to be captured. There were indeed some of those prisoners there, and one, McBain (Christopher Walken) was being forced to fight in a cage for the enemy's entertainment, but Roberto Santos (Chick Vennera) managed to save his life...

Say McBain to people now and they'll think you're tallking about The Simpsons spoof of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and by all rights director James Glickenhaus should have secured the Austrian's services to star in this effort. But Walken was the man who stepped up to the mark, and if there was a less committed performance in an action movie then it was hard to identify, because the star radiated an air of indifference throughout, barely registering any interest in what was going on: even at the triumphant ending he showed no emotion. One can only imagine what was going on in his head during the making of this, but he was giving nothing away.

Despite that opening ten minutes of slaughter in Vietnam, much of the rest of the movie took place between New York (actual New York City locations were used) to Colombia (actual Philippines locations were used), which on this evidence looks identical to Vietnam. The reason McBain ends up in that Central American country was down to his old buddy Santos, who gave him half a hundred dollar bill as a keepsake, he keeping the other half, to remind him that he saved McBain's life eighteen years ago. Santos has turned politically active and wishes to overthrow El Presidente (Victor Argo) and his dictatorship.

Alas, Santos' best laid plans don't go too well, to the extent that when he and his band of rebels storm the palace they end up shot dead, with Santos even more ingnominiously having his death broadcast around the world, though there's an upside in that McBain happens to be watching TV in a bar and catches it, which sends him into a reflective mood over his old pal, taking out the half of the bill after a minute of trying to find it in his wallet (could have edited that bit down, James). Actually it's hard to tell how McBain is feeling due to Walken's impassive countenance, so we have to take it as read that he's filled with righteous anger.

Another curious aspect to his personailty is that he is much given to random speechifying, so when Santos' sister Christina (Maria Conchita Alonso) shows up pleading for help he launches into a reverie about Woodstock, which has something to do with once being a hippy but now being a right winger who sees the need to take down the government of a small country with the help of his old Army friends and nobody else. Soon he is in a plane heading to Colombia, and you start to wonder if he's ever going to reach the flippin' location of all the action because we're over an hour into this movie and he's spent most of it elsewhere, with only a brief interlude to shoot up a drugs den run by Luis Guzmán to brighten things up. On the journey he does bring down a Colombian fighter jet by firing a gun at it out of the window, so there's that. There are those who would have it that McBain is a laugh riot, but mostly it's pretty dull, with only its flimsy justification of invading non-American countries distinguishing it; like Walken, you probably won't be bothered what happens aside from its incredibly stupid moments. Music by Christopher Franke.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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