Code Name:Wild Geese
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A band of mercenaries are hired to fight a Burmese opium warlord in the golden triangle area of Southeast Asia. Murder and mayhem ensue.System Requirements:Running Time: 101 minutesFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: ACTION/ADVENTURE/MILITARY & WAR UPC: 879431000251 Manufacturer No: MAC25
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Maybe if you have nothing else to watch or if you really like explosions, this might be worth your time.
The story rips along at a fast pace and it is full of action, but most of the budget must have been spent on the name stars (Borgnine, Kinski and van Cleef) as production values are quiet poor. However the director makes do with what he has and tries to put what money he had left all on the screen. Some of the helicopter special effects in the oil refinery battle are too ambitious and don't come off but there are some inspirational ideas for using a helicopter as a battle platform which today's CGI could have great fun with. The acting is generally good. Lee van Cleef looks older and unwell (he had heart problems at the time this was made) but he enters into the spirit of the adventure and holds up his end well. Kinski has very little to do, which is such a waste of his talent. Borgnine is in good form and earns his pay check. The Philippines location, doubling for the Golden Triangle of SE Asia, is convincing and the action pieces are very well staged given the obvious budget limitations. Lewis Collins is servicable as the lead but it is character actor Luciano Pigozzi (nicknamed the Italian Peter Lorre) as the priest who gets crucified in his own church who steals the acting honours and the audience's sympathy.
For fans of van Cleef and Borgnine this is well worth getting. Kinski's fans, however, will be disappointed - he acts as though he is on valium, which for Kinski is saying something, and his screen time is resctricted to just a few irrelevant scenes. He might have had a larger role in the original script but it was either left on the cutting room floor or never filmed which is the more likely given his unseemly reputation as a difficult actor to direct. Maybe director Antonio Marghareti decided it was all too difficult and just concentrated on working with film pros like Borgnine and van Cleef both who have excellent reputions for being totally professional on the set. Much of the story is set in Hong Kong where they filmed several location scenes with Borgnine - it is a valuable record of what Hong Kong used to look like in the early 80s, particularly the views across Victoria Harbour which because of pollution are rare sightings today.
What I want to let you know is that the video quality is at best a 3/10. Expect VHS quality with lots of drags that result in the audio not synced with video. It's really bad and that should be made clear to anyone who's considering purchasing. In hindsight, I wish I hadn't bought this.