Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Umm…. Hmmm… I’m wondering exactly how does one begin a discussion of this movie ‘Target of Opportunity’, made back in 2004 and starring my main man Todd Jensen. We here at the FCU follow Mr. Jensen’s career rather closely, and if he knew this it would probably make him very uncomfortable, but we do this because Todd dies so often and so horribly in so many movies that it has endeared us to him. But this movie here was a star vehicle for Mr. Jensen. Here he gets to kick ass and kiss girls and travel into territory usually reserved for Jean Claude, Steven and Dolph. Yes, ‘Target of Opportunity’ is terrible and on so many levels, but there is magic locked away in the gawdawfullness of this movie if you’re willing to peel away the stench filled layers to get to it.

Our movie begins in some foreign Russian type country were a team of special ops badasses are about to rain hell on some Bolshevik clowns. The only two of these badasses we are going to concern ourselves with are Nick Carlton (Jensen) and Jim Jacobs (Dean Cochran) because… well… lets just say those other baddasses children will wake up for years to come crying ‘where’s daddy’. So our crew drops down from the helicopter for their mission only to find the bad guys waiting for them with jeeps, super helicopters, snow men, tanks and bombs. To cut to the chase everybody dies except our two heroes with one of our heroes getting shot in the leg. One of our soon to be dead heroes cries for Nick to call in an Air Strike. Nick says ‘there’s no time!’ but there was plenty of time for everybody to die. What he meant to say was ‘It’s not in the budget!’ The injured Jacobs begs Nick to leave him behind, but Nick reminds Jacobs of that touchdown they scored back in high school. I kid you not. Other than the fact this seemed like an inopportune time to reminisce, Nick looks like he has a good ten years on Jacobs so maybe Nick just get left back a few times or something. Regardless Nick yanks Jacobs to his feet and with helicopters above, massive troops to left, tanks to the right and jeeps in front I couldn’t wait to see how Nick and the dude with a bullet in his leg were going to get out of this mess.

Fade to black, five years later. Las Vegas. What the hell? We’re going to go ahead and roll with it because that’s what they did in this movie. Jacobs is Dr. Jim Jacobs VA psychiatrist and Nick is something else altogether. Nick gives Jacobs a case to hold for him, just as insurance should anything happen to him. Duh… something happens to him. Now Jacobs has to travel to some country to find Nick with this cause assisted greatly by by the fact that Nick has this nifty tracking device in his neck. But what exactly is Nick into. The CIA says he’s a dirty drug smuggling gun dealing scumbag. Nick’s lady friend in this foreign country says he’s ‘everything to her’. When Jacobs tracks Nick down, Nick can barely remember his name, much less what he is supposed to be, considering he’s suffering ‘Post Traumatic Block’. We did mention that Jacob’s is psychiatrist in addition to being a kung fu enabled former special ops super badass right?

It’s looking bad for our crew as the enemy is everywhere, is armed to the teeth with every weapon known to man and is tracking them from air, ground and sea. How in the hell are they going to get out of this. Remember how we weren’t informed how they got out of their first little skirmish? Well, if these incompetent goons they’re dealing with now were like those goons they were dealing with then… now we know.

This is the second movie I’ve seen from director Danny Lerner, the first being the more recent Dolph Lundgren vehicle ‘Direct Contact’. While the jury might be out on Mr. Lerner’s skill set as a film director the man has a definite style. The bulk of this style consists of a lot of dudes with unlimited ammo shooting at stuff at close range and missing. Goons have a rocket launcher, heroes are in a cargo truck going almost two miles an hour, goons miss. Goons have AK-47’s, heroes have sneakers, and heroes outrun bullets with ease. Yes, the man has a definite style. I imagine Mr. Lerner getting into the editing room, observe his action filled movie and determining that he needs to shoot more action. ‘Target of Opportunity’ is not a good movie, it doesn’t make any kind sense even in its own nonsensical world that it exists in, but it is, without nary a doubt, an action movie. This movie is easily at least 80% action sequences and 20% suspect dialog. Trains, boats, motorcycles, foot chases, hand to hand, knife to hand, knee to head… Sure, not all of this action was crisp and thrilling but it was there and it was never ending. And it was a simple action movie. If you’re wearing black and a long coat, you are a bad guy and you will be shot. You will also not be able to shoot a six foot two hundred pound man with your automatic weapon, one who is standing directly in front of you, no matter how hard you try.

Overall the acting was suspect but Todd Jensen was really good in this, and we’re not just saying this because he’s a friend of the FCU, even though he doesn’t know that he’s a friend of the FCU. It had to be a welcome departure from playing the disposable assholes that he’s usually forced to play and he handles it very well. What the movie was missing, in addition to a coherent plot, decent dialog and good acting, was a decent bad guy. Future friend of the FCU and Bulgarian standby actor Hristo Shopov was in this movie, playing a bad guy of sorts as usual, but he really wasn’t much of one. Gotta have a decent bad guy in a movie like this.

Yes, ‘Target of Opportunity’ was an awful movie but there is something special there if you are willing to see it. Note that I didn’t tell you what this something is because it’s probably different for each and every one of us. If this were a successful Straight to Video film when it was released six years ago it looked as if it were set to be a franchise of sorts, but alas it was not meant to be. Personally, I wouldn’t have minded two or three more of these. ‘Direct Target’… ‘Target… Action’… ‘Target Connection’… the possibilities would’ve been endless.

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