Seriously Tactical Force? Seriously? You get a movie called ‘Tactical Force’ about a brutal, no rules playing SWAT team locked in mortal combat with even more brutal Russians and Italian mobsters, a movie that stars Stone Cold Steve Austin and Michael Jai White and you might think that you’re getting a mean and nasty Straight to DVD, mindless beatump / shootemup. And you do kind of get that, but… and I wasn’t really prepared for this… but what you are really getting is an action comedy. An Action Comedy. Starring Stone Cold Steve Austin. And dare I say that it actually works as an action comedy? Just a little? Unbelievable.
Before we begin, if you haven’t seen this movie but plan to, grab your favorite adult beverage (if you’re an adult) and every time Stone Cold utters a variation of the word ‘fuck’, take a swig. If you aren’t drunk by the end of the movie you have drinking problem. I would tell you to take a swig anytime anybody utters the word ‘fuck’ but I don’t want you to die of alcohol poisoning.
So some random clowns have taken a grocery store hostage. Say hello to the baddest, meanest SWAT team in all of Los Angeles led by bossman Tate (Stone Cold), his right hand man Hunt (White), hostile hot chick Jannard (Lexa Doig), and beef expert Blanco (Steve Bacic). Tate gets on the mic, tells the leader of this crew that he’s through negotiating, even though he hasn’t even started negotiating, they bust in, kill most of them, the ones they didn’t kill will wish they were dead, and they also harm a good number of the hostages in the process but at least they aren’t dead. Job well done.
While it looked good to me, their angry African American Captain (Peter Bryant), a character ripped right from almost every decent 70’s cop show, bores new assholes into the crew, suspends them and set them up for some retraining. The classroom retraining session… almost worth the price of a VOD rental all by itself. Then it’s off to an abandoned warehouse for some run and gun hostage scenarios and then back home.
So much for that. By pure chance a slimy dude named Kenny (Michael Eklund) has hidden something at this very same location and evil Russian mobster Demetrius (Michael Shanks) and his lethal right hand woman Ilya (Candace Elaine) want this thing. This thing actually belongs to evil Italian mobster Lampone (Adrian Holmes) and along with his right man Stolato (Darren Shalhvi), he is at this location and he wants his stuff back. And Kenny not’s giving anybody anything. What is this thing? A silver case full of McGuffin is what it is. Then our SWAT members show up to train, our mobsters are concerned about this, one of Members checks out some noise and we aren’t going to be worried about that particular member anymore. Just know that bossman Tate has promised that everybody’s going to be f’n dead because of this misdeed. Even though our team members were practicing with blanks which means they are unarmed. And the enemy has live rounds. And they have called in reinforcements. It’s not looking good. Is there a way out of this mess? Of course there is silly.
I guess I have to hand it to writer / director Adamo P. Cultaro for his movie ‘Tactical Force’. Is it a good movie? Probably not, all things considered, but that’s if you’re expecting something along the lines of the depressing action fest we saw the previous day ‘Assassination Games’. That was a pretty serious action movie. In this one… when the SWAT team raids a grocery store, first by forecasting to the perps that they are about to raid the grocery store, and then by throwing frozen steaks at them and shooting them with BB guns… before killing said criminals with real guns… and then watching our boss bum rush a criminal who is pointing a gun at him and this cat doesn’t pull the trigger, this isn’t a serious action film. ‘Tactical Force’ is one step above a spoof. Even when they killed one of the SWAT members, nobody really seemed all that upset about it to be honest with you. Possibly because that would involve ‘acting’ and stuff and in all honesty, no one seemed all that interested in doing any of that, with the order from above being ‘let’s have a good time making a really stupid action movie’.
And that they did. Make a stupid action movie that is. I can only assume the cast and crew had a good time doing it. The reason I have to hand it to the director is because ‘Tactical Force’ was kind of funny. Michael Shanks Russian accent was awful. Hitting a guy in the head with a frozen steak might be some old school, vaudevillian type slapstick stuff, but that was funny. Adrian Holmes, one of my favorite actors who nobody knows, was funny as the Black Italian. And if Stone Cold didn’t call you a mother fucker in this movie, then the chances are he didn’t like you. Then there’s the little end twist which pretty much seals this movies fate as ludicrous nonsense, just in case you had any doubt this wasn’t done by design.
There is a reason we don’t see action comedies much anymore, a late eighties, early nineties staple… because they tend to suck. Think ‘Bulletproof’ for an example, or the most recent Action Comedy that I can remember ‘Cop Out’. Nothing but mad love for Kevin Smith, but Cop Out? Here we have an action comedy with no comedians in the cast and it actually worked. A little bit.
No, I wouldn’t want to see it again, I’m thinking a sequel would probably be unwise, and we have seen much better as far as the action part of this action comedy goes, but ‘Tactical Force’ was a curious, curious surprise. Just don’t do it again.