Monday 10 September 2012

DVD review: The Retrievers (1982)

The local chapter of the CIA sends Tom Cathral (Max Thayer) out on assignment with a veteran agent. Their job is to bring back Danny Burke (Lenard Miller), an ex-CIA agent, for questioning. When the veteran agent ends up shooting an innocent woman and beating Danny to a pulp, Tom is shocked and wants out. The action really heats up when Danny´s sister Janice (Shawn Hoskins) reveals that she has a manuscript written by her brother exposing the CIA. Now Tom and Janice are chased by the CIA´s notorious hunter-killers.. code-named Retrievers. The Retrievers is written by Larry Stamper and Elliot Hong who also is the director. The acting is okay for the most part, the cinematography and editing is decent. The soundtrack is pretty good. There is a lot of action, plenty of martial arts as the CIA hunter-killers are all martial artist (trained to kill in a thousand different ways). I like the fight sequences even if a few of them might not be very well choreographed and there are at least one example where the film makers originally shot some of the movements and used editing to speed things up. I like the fact that Max Thayer´s character isn´t proficient it martial arts but has to resort to other ways. Some of the fights seem pretty realistic and are down and dirty while others are cinematic Kung Fu. That his character feels and looks like a average Joe (similar to Robert Ginty´s portrayal of John Eastland in the classic The Exterminator) who just happens to get caught up in the story. After a strong first hour The Retrievers slows down somewhat, it actually gets a bit boring for awhile and they suddenly begin adding some bad comic relief which is a big misstake in my opinion as the flick up until this point have been pretty dark and violent. The Retrievers is very violent and there is some nice gore as people are getting killed with broken bottles, gets a bullet through the head and so on. There is no T & A in this.
This review is based upon the region all (Region 0) from Liberty Home Entertainment, have no idea if it´s a legit release or not but it´s the only one I´ve managed to find.
Rating: 6 out of 7. I enjoyed The Retrievers a lot and it´s a very cool movie but I must confess that I have a long standing love affair with this flick, had it ever since I first saw the VHS cover in the early 1980s.


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