Thursday, November 6, 2014

In short: Interceptor Force (1999)

With great difficulty, some jets under the command of a slumming Ernie Hudson shoot down a UFO. Alas, it goes down in Mexican territory, or rather in the territory of cartel boss and Spaghetti western reject Rosario (Stefan Lysenko), so Weber (Brad Dourif), a guy we must take to be responsible for the secret US anti-alien effort, doesn’t send out special forces but a trio of mercenaries. These guys suck so much they haven’t even earned themselves stupid call signs, and are instead called Shaun (Olivier Gruner), Dave (William Zabka) and Russell (Glenn Plummer).

Because neither Weber nor I would trust these guys with making a sandwich, he teams them up with science people Jena (Angel Boris Reed) and Perez (Mark Adair-Rioz), who are also the only people involved who know this is to be an alien hunt and not a case of secretly fetching a black box from under a crazy guy’s nose.

Not surprisingly, things don’t go too well on this ill-designed mission, and it might just become necessary for Weber to nuke a small Mexican village lest an alien threat is loosed upon the world.

For those of my readers who haven’t already smelt the crap, let it be known that Phillip J. Roth’s Interceptor Force is indeed a decidedly stupid piece of crap. Though it is one that is perfectly honest about its nature, seeing as we first encounter our Gruner-shaped hero while he’s stealing some secret data a be-suited guy carries around in a hard drive somehow built into his body (what, no flash memory?), one of his nipples replaced by a port, a heist during which our hero only escapes via an intensely bizarre rooftop escape featuring a long pole and a low flying aircraft.

On the other hand, the film sure as hell doesn’t manage to keep its stupidity as awesome as these scenes promise for the whole of its running time, spending a bit too much film on our leads discussing how betrayed they feel because Weber didn’t tell them about the aliens from the start. Which, given their performance throughout the film and that they’re even doing the old “a ga-a-ga-a giiiiirl” thing when Weber informs them about one of their part time partners being, you know, female, is no surprise to anyone. You’d think even in action movie land you might be able to find expendable operatives with a hint of competence about them.

When the film gets its stupid going, it does so very well, delighting with Brad Dourif giving an absurdly intense and utterly weird performance (which is to say, a very typical Dourif performance), Hudson popping in for three scenes of looking professionally concerned, a crap CGI alien that can also turn into crap CGI green energy and into people it has killed to utter crap jokes (and because the CGI truly is an eyesore), a handful of explosions (propane tanks explode when shot at, our genius heroes discover whilst shooting a propane tank), and a bit of competent hand-to-hand choreography so Gruner can show off the stuff he’s actually good at. For my tastes, the film at the very least contains enough of these shenanigans not to drag too painfully, and actually, I found myself mildly entertained for most of its running time, which is more than I can say about a lot of action movies.

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