Monday 24 September 2012

DVD review: Armed Response (1986)

It´s a violent world of ruthless criminals that populates the underworld of Los Angeles Chinatown. Amidst the neon signs, curio shops and crowds of tourists brushing alongside the Asian locals sits the Mimosa Cafe. The saloon is operated as a partnership between a proud family of veterans. Burt Roth (Lee Van Cleef), a crusty old man recalling his days in combat during World War II, actually leaves the work to his two sons, Tommy (Brent Huff) and Jim (David Carradine), who are still haunted by remnants of the Vietnam War. When the tight-knit family becomes inadvertenly embroiled in a plot to double-cross the mobster Tanaka (Mako) in his attempts to retrieve a priceless jade statue. Armed Response is written by Paul Hertzberg, T.L. Lankford and Fred Olen Ray who also is the director. The acting is decent for the most part,  Lee Van Cleef is great but Laurene Landon is hilariously bad in this. In supporting roles we got Michael Berryman, Dick Miller and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. The camerawork and editing is good. The Vietnam flashbacks, comprised of stock footage spliced with newly filmed material featuring David Carradine are effective even if they at some moments look a bit cheap. It´s fast-paced and entertaining with shootouts, explosions and stuntwork  No gore except in the shape of squibs as people get shot. In the T & A department I can report some brief topless nudity as some characters visit a strip club.
This review is based upon the region 1 DVD release from Platinum Disc.
Rating: 4½ out of 7. Even if it´s fairly predictable this enjoyable and entertaining flick delivers what is expected from it. David Caradine and Lee Van Cleef do not disappoint. I haven't seen many movies from Fred Olen Ray but I´ve gotten the impression that this is one of his better efforts and it´s certainly worth checking out


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