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Review Code Name: Wild Geese a.k.a. Geheimcode Wildgänse (1984): Surprisingly entertaining!

genre: war, action

This is a German-Italian co-production and clearly trying to cash in mercenary films like The Wild Geese. But other than that, there is no relation to that film. 

I was expecting badness of the worst kind, but to my surprise, the film was very entertaining. Mind you, there are a few sequences that made burst in laughter. Only because I never expected to witness such insanity in a film like this. One particular scene comes to mind and it's amazing. There is an intense car chase where the cars and their drivers do the impossible. If you look closely, model cars are being used. But that only adds to the fun, since everybody except Ernest Borgnine is acting super seriously. And to be honest, that is the saving grace of the film. The ultra minimal plot and the lack of character development hardly matters because the actors do sell the events and the dramatic impact of those events. The film certainly doesn't shy away of showing blood and gore. However, keeps it surprisingly constrained so that things don't become too fantastical. 

The big names, Lee van Cleef, Klaus Kinski, Ernest Borgnine and Mimsy Farmer do add a certain flavour to the film, but it's Lewis Collins and his team members who have the prominent roles. And they also do quite a lot with very little. Some of them clearly have a screw loose yet are immensely dependable when it matters. You actually care for them, even when some of their behaviour towards Wesley (Lewis Collins) for example is questionable. Special mention needs to go to Rene Abadeza as the guide Kim, who moves and fights like a ninja and actually is the true hero of the story. He goes out of his way to aid the mercenaries. Even then is met with a lot of paranoia, just shameful!

Overall, I can truly recommend this one if you want good military combat. It's a low budget production, but so competently made you hardly notice that. I believe we have director Antonio Margheriti to thank for that.

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