Laser Mission (1990): Breakdown by Kain424
Some kind of secret agent/mercenary kills a lot of poorly paid stuntmen in order to retrieve a giant diamond, rescue a scientist, and free some mining slaves. All the while looking like a complete dork and trying to score.
For more on the plot, watch this:
[flashvideo filename=videos/LaserMissionthemovie.wmv.FLV /]
If you enjoy very cheesy, B-grade Action movies, this one is like hitting a goldmine. The quality and look of the film is pretty terrible, but there are a lot of gunfights and enough fight scenes every so often to keep any lover of the genre happy and entertained throughout. I was very pleasantly surprised to see the amount of action present in this flick, especially since it looks like it was filmed with an 80s camcorder.
I was equally surprised and puzzled to see Ernest Borgnine in this film. Really. What the Hell is he doing here?
In any case, this film is great in the same way American Ninja is great. It’s off-the-wall goofy fun. There isn’t a moment to be taken seriously and I like that just fine. The movie has the feel of a test film with a budget. By that I mean it almost seems as if the whole thing is set up to showcase Lee’s skills as a possible Action lead, but without any intention of ever releasing the film.
Still, it manages to be epic in its own cheesy way. It’s like a Bond movie made for a few hundred dollars and a gallon of gas. We get exotic locales, twisted villains with cartoon accents, and babes with guns. Would I recommend it? Hell yes! Only a complete buzzkill wouldn’t enjoy this one!
[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]
Brandon Lee is Michael Gold
Brandon Lee plays Michael Gold, who is apparently some kind of mercenary currently working for the United States. Though he looks like a dumb-ass for most of the film (until he takes his glasses off and starts sweating), he is EXTREMELY good at killing people. So I suppose you could say he’s bad-ass, but it’s a tough call. The guy can fight. He’s doing all kinds of kicks and even throws in some ridiculously powerful punches as well. But he just looks so lame much of the time I have a hard time giving him any credit.
And one thing that’s particularly strange about the guy is his choice of quips. During a rooftop chase sequence Michael falls through some poor peoples’ ceiling and onto their dinner table in the middle of their meal. He gets up, but before he jumps out the window he tells them, “I just dropped in to say… bon apetite!” I SUPPOSE it’s appropriate, seeing as they WERE eating dinner and all. But try this one:
“I don’t like putting pricetags on women. It’s much more fun taking them off.”
What the FUCK does that even mean?
[THE BODY COUNT: 75]
Lee is a fucking killer in this one, no argument. He’s killed 26 people by the thirty minute mark, and finishes up with a very satisfying 48 kills by the end of the movie. His female companion kills a bunch of bad guys too, and even Ernest Borgnine caps a few motherfuckers. The villains try to keep up, killing innocent people here and there, but the three amigos of death pop baddies like still targets. It’s pretty fun.
[MOST SATISFYING DEATH]
Although the main bad guy’s final demise was nice, I actually liked the nameless-lackey-in-the-desert’s death the most. Brandon Lee uppercuts him in the stomach, grabs the dude’s head, and jumps, spinning around like a Street Fighter character, and breaks the fucker’s neck. The guy even let’s out a pathetic little whimper that helps sell the effect.
[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]
Being at the ass-end of the eighties, I’m surprised by how little gayness appears in this one. I had a twinkle of hope when Lee sat down next to Borgnine on a bench overlooking the ocean and started talking about birds, but then the damn bad guys came and interrupted the moment.
[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]
Laser Mission is not at all too anti-women, who are depicted as not only combat-competent, but also (and this one really surprised me) great drivers. Though I suppose there is something to be said about making a woman spend the duration of the film wearing this:
[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]
Brandon Lee seems to have such an awful time trying to be cool with his one-liners that I almost considered just saying that he had none. But, if forced to choose, I’ll go with the one when his captors show him the guillotine with which they plan to kill him.
“The blade needs sharpening,” Lee deadpans. I like that he’s such a little smart-ass in the face of death.
As for the epic moment, well that one’s much easier. A mean motherfucker has his gun on a hostage, and sees Lee lowering his own gun, perhaps seeing as the the baddie has the upper hand here. The evil doer starts laughing and spouting, “Americans… like in the movies! You kill me with your stupi–!”
And that’s all he gets out before Lee opens fire on the guy, who falls off a cliff. Epic is right.
[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]
Just because he can’t act, and may even look like some bookish twerp, doesn’t mean Brandon Lee’s not a threat to you, your army, and your entire criminal organization. You’ve been warned.
[THE CHECKLIST: 12 outta 25]
[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[X] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[X] Crotch Attack
[ ] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[ ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[ ] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[X] Heavy Artillery
[ ] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[ ] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[ ] Manly Embrace(s)
[ ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[X] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage*
[ ] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[ ] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[ ] Tis The Season
[X] Torture Sequence(s)
[ ] Unnecessary Sequel
[ ] Vehicle Chase(s)
[ ] Vigilante Justice
*This movie actually starts out with a loading up montage, complete with lots of guns cocking.