Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Dateline: Southeast Asia. A super scientist has developed a revolutionary form of energy that is green, safe and almost unlimited. I think we’ve seen enough movies to know that if some scientist actually creates anything as amazing as this is, he will either be assassinated or kidnapped or his amazing invention will be stolen and fall into the wrong hands and more than likely a terrorist or some major corporation will be behind all of this. Yup! The name of the movie is ‘Special Ops’ and it will be up to our hero to at least stop one of those things from happening.

So this scientist has been kidnapped by the completely evil terrorist caricature Daco (Rez Cortez) who wants this doctor to use his super tech to make a portable nuke or something. Daco sneers and preens and scowls and mentions Allah a lot and punches people in the face. He’s not a good person. Daco has also kidnapped this doctor’s hot doctoral assistant Nina Santos (Marie Lanoy) who I’m guessing will eventually be kidnapped… again… and held hostage… again.

Assigned to rescue these nuclear scientist are the special ops team led by Captain Kyle Fierson (A.J. Draven) who seems to have some reservations about sending his team into hostile territory to rescue this technology, the people are secondary by the way, though it’s never really explained why he has these reservations. I mean we know this op is going to go straight to hell, but how does he know what we know? The problem is the evil corporate honcho Miss Lillian (Finola Hughes), while controlling the evil Secretary of Defense (David Stanford) has ordered scurrilous Marine Colonel Caine (Steven Bauer) to sacrifice a team of special ops marines to make it look like they were actually trying to rescue these people when in actuality they just wanted to secure this technology for themselves.

Like clockwork the op goes straight to hell, all of Captain Fierson’s men are dead, the doctor is dead… not the sexy one… the terrorist is still on the run but a wrench is thrown in the plans of these evil people because Capt Fierson is still alive and kicking and he has the thumb drive. Not the nanochip, but the thumb drive. We are informed you need both to make this thing work.

Now Captain Fierson is up against it. Something fierce I guess we could say. He has to get out of wherever the hell he is now and he has to get word to his superior that it was an ambush. One of these superiors happens to be the scurrilous Colonel Cain so you can figure how that’s going to work out, plus he has to go to the Philippines and find the sexy doctor who has the other piece of the technology, he has to clear his name because he’s been declared an Al-Qaeda co-conspirator and there is still a preening, sneering terrorist to kill. All with the clock ticking down to triple zero to Armageddon. Not really, but that’s just about the only thing that’s missing.

Though it doesn’t please us to say this, because we really, really wanted to like this movie, ‘Special Ops’ does have some issues as a work of cinematic entertainment. None of these issues are with the performances of the cast with most of them being performed admirably. A.J. Draven is a solid action hero in waiting with a little bit of charm to him, Rez Cortez was probably a little over the top but he was a decent Allah spouting terrorist, and we would’ve liked to have seen Marie Lanoy smile every once in a while since she was looking meaner than our mean terrorist throughout most of this movie but for the most part the acting was fine. Even the story to some extent was okay, though it was inconsistent and unwieldy at times, but it was workable. No sir, the problem with director Tom Shell’s movie is that it’s too long and there’s really not enough legitimate story to carry this length which in turn renders a large portion of my man’s action movie boring. Dull. Lifeless. This is a problem with an action flick. On top of that the action is repetitive. Fierson runs, he fights, he walks through town. He runs, he fights, he rides in a car. He runs, he fights, he catches a boat. He runs, he fights, he rides in a plane. If all of these action events were compressed a little and shot just a little bit better than it wouldn’t have felt so tedious and so repetitive, but this was not the case.

Even though the story supporting the tedium wasn’t all that bad, particularly when Steven Bauer showed up near the end to clear a few things up, I’m still not completely sure what was the main plan of our evil people. They send in the heroes to get slaughtered but the terrorist would still have the tech, and apparently they don’t want that, even though I guess they warned these terrorist that the heroes were on their way. I’m thinking they probably should’ve let the heroes do their job, get the fancy tech, then kill them when they try to leave. I might’ve missed something there. Or just hire their own fake terrorist to kidnap the doctor and then steal the fancy tech for themselves. I don’t know. I’m probably investing too much into this anyway but I just want these lower budget action flicks to be good is all.

If our filmmakers could’ve shortened this a little bit, maybe shaved off a couple of the running fighting traveling sequences, ‘Special Ops’ probably would’ve been a little more palatable because it did have some potential. It was unrealized, but it was there.

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