Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Bruno Mattei Misses the DOUBLE TARGET

Not quite DOUBLE TEAM and not necessarily HARD TARGET, today's trip to Undiscovered Trash Country brought us Bruno Mattei's DOUBLE TARGET (courtesy of Mr. Z of TOMB IT MAY CONCERN and TOUGH TO KILL fame). Talk about your inexplicable exploding hut porn... Miles (TARZAN, THE APE MAN) O'Keefe stars as Robert Ross, an American soldier in Vietnam who spends his time drinking beer and looking for his long lost son. Seems Mama-san died whilst being re-programmed from her American-loving ways and the Vietnamese government doesn't recognize the couple's wartime marriage, declaring the boy a "free" Vietnamese citizen.

Naturally, O'Keefe gets recruited for a top secret government mission headed by an asthmatic senator played by Donald Pleasance. The trade-off? He carries out their mission and he can take the boy back to America.

Unfortunately, the actual purpose of the mission is so clouded by the frequent stops for O'Keefe and Co. to shoot random extras and blow up hut after hut after hut that I still don't really know what the mission was supposed to uncover. There's some jibber-jabber about government conspiracies and leaving Ross behind, but it all felt like somebody had just watched ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK while they were scribbling the plot together.

Mission aside, DOUBLE TARGET is largely an excuse for O'Keefe to get a good jungle workout as he runs through the foliage, tucking and rolling away from bullets, absorbing nary a scratch while everybody he comes in contact with is shot or blown to pieces. For a guy who survived not one, not two, but SIX suicide missions in Nam you'd think he'd at least have a hangnail, let alone a scar.

With Bo Svenson as a less-than-convincing Commie baddie, the most absurd change of heart in cinematic history, and Mattei's trademark use of mismatched stock footage (in a hilarious shark attack), DOUBLE TARGET certainly has its moments. Unfortunately, O'Keefe plays the role as straight as a 2x4 and his wooden performance is desperately in need of some ham. If exploding huts are your thing this is your flick, but you may find yourself reaching for the fast-forward.

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