REVIEWS: Action & Thrillers — July 28, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Review: Act of War (1998)

Lloyd Simandl has long been known as a director and producer mostly working in exploitation genre. Most of his movies are shot in Czech Republic, and feature beautiful girls, concentration camps, fetishes of sexual nature and that kind of stuff. Sometimes however, he directs action movies, or produces them.

This “Act of War” is one such film – Simandl produces, Robert Lee directs… if you’re wondering what it really means, go on – we’re about to discuss the “plot”.

The film starts off by some cheezy action scene,as we get to learn along the way – it is the Soviet Union collapse (note, this is not 1988, but 1998!) and the Republic of Bazrakhistan (no it does not really exist) celebrates its independence.

In the center of all this mess we have an american special agent Jack Gracy (Jack Scalia) who happens to be in love with the daughter of newly elected Bazrakhistan republic president!

From here, it all starts to go wrong. President’s palace gets assaulted by some trigger-happy soldiers, let by a bald Miles O’Keeffe look-alike, who threatens to kill every taken hostage and launch some missles if U.S. Government does not supply Bazhrakistan with money.

Now, someone forgot to tell Jack Gracy to leave president’s palace so that the villains could continue with their plans. What Jack does? Exactly – he pretends he’s John McClane from the “Die Hard” series, and goes on to crash this party, kill the bad guys, save the president and reunite with his girlfriend.

Now, the action scenes are not that bad, Jack Scalia is the only familiar face in this film, and he does his part well – he gets to deliver some nice lines, shoot, fight, and pretend he enjoys every minute of being in front of the camera. Scalia (like I already mentioned in this article) is one of those actors, who are equally good at being action heroes (check out his “Dark Breed” and “T-Force”) and soap opera performers.

Now, as far as “Republic of Bazhrakistan” goes, the writers could have done a better job here – I, myself was born just before the collapse of the Soviet Union, and my country gained independence, so making a movie back then would have given “Act of War” a much more desired ACT.

Now in 1998 – this just did not make any sense at all. Unlike in other similar Simandl films, there’s no nudity here, so in this department we’re clean.

The fact that 90% of the movie happens inside the president’s palace (which of course looks nothing like a palace at all) makes us believe this was a low-budget attempt to make something like a “Die Hard” with some former Soviet Union crap thrown in.

As a brainless entertainment, this film will do the trick – you get Bazhrakistan, Jack Scalia who looks like James Bond and acts like John McClane, some action, some really amusing scenes, and of course a lot of bad accents…

BZFILM SCALE: 4/10



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