Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Der Commander (1988)

Legendary swiss producer Erwin C. Dietrich was the money-man behind three of Antonio Margheritis more expensive movies from the eighties. The last of them was Der Commander, a routine affair that dosen't offer something new, but still is kinda entertaining. The cast is, as usual, marvelous: Lewis Collins, Lee Van Cleef, Donald Pleasence, John Steiner, Bobby Rhodes (as "Kongo Klaus"!), Brett Halsey, Paul Muller, Romano Puppo and paler (almost albino!) than ever, Mike Monty!

The story is forgettable. Something about Lewis Collins being hired by Lee Van Cleef to deliver some weapons in exchange for some drugs, but he's actually hired by the goverment to destroy the drug factory. He hire a team of roughnecks down in Thailand and by boat they travel into Cambodia. Of course they're in constant danger and there's shooting, explosions and one after one dies... as usual in a men-on-a-mission-movie.

Der Commander never get's as interesting and Commando Leopard and Codename Wildgeese, mostly because the script is much more focused to talking and characters - and we're not talking really fascination characters either. The first scene is a nice little shoot out with some good stunts, and after that there's talking for almost an hour. And then the action starts. Margheriti handles the action as the expert he was, as usual, and it never gets boring. Most of the big explosions at the end is stock footage from Codename Wildgeese, but it's not that much. There's rarely any squibs, which is a trademark of the director, but the stuntmen falls, flies and get's thrown in all directions instead. Which makes up for the blood.

Beautiful jungle, a nice Bangkok-location, fun actors and some good action, but sadly one of Antonio's weaker efforts from this time.

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