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Directed by: J. Christian Ingvordsen
Starring: Rick Washburn, Lyle Alzado, J. Christian Ingvordsen, John Weiner, Steven Kaman, and Lance Henriksen
"Unlikely Allies. Unbeatable Force."
Khaleel (Weiner) is a terrorist, drug trafficker, and America-hater that’s causing so much trouble, CIA director Reed (Henriksen), and his Russian associates decide that taking him down is going to take the teamwork of the U.S. and the Russians. Recruited to execute the mission is Delta Force Commanding Officer Frank “Bone” White (Ingvordsen). Naturally, he’s a cool dude with a bad attitude. His Russian counterpart is Spetsnaz officer Kotshov (Kaman). He’s a ruthless, “Kill ‘em All” type. But, for the good of both their countries, they must learn to get along and trust each other. With tensions rising, will they be able to take down Khaleel - before they kill each other first?
Comrades In Arms is a military shoot-em-up with a pretty serious tone. It starts off with some hi-tech (for the time) green night vision and “thermo” vision (as in, when a character says, “we’re switchin’ to thermo!”), and plenty of technical combat lingo. Even though the concept of the U.S. and the Russians working together may remind you of Red Heat (1988), or maybe even Red Scorpion (1988), or possibly some other “Red” movies, the idea that, at this point in time, that they would both have to go into the field of combat together and rely on each other, is pretty forward-thinking. This is a war movie for a new kind of war - the war on terror - with all the technology that would entail, and Comrades In Arms probably will receive little to no credit for being one of the first (maybe the first?) movie to deal with this kind of war in the modern age.
But it still carries over some much-loved cliches from the past, seeing as how the Russians are gruff and emotionless, and Frank White (presumably not the same Frank White from King of New York (1990) from two years earlier), is called a “loose cannon” by his superiors. And it just wouldn’t be complete without the climax in an abandoned warehouse. Similar to how Robert Z’Dar in The Final Sanction (1990) played a Russian, here Lyle Alzado does the same. Despite the fact that Alzado is top-billed, he’s only in it for a scant few minutes. Remember, back in the 80’s, Alzado was a name. A movie about cold war ideals with Lyle Alzado is certainly a product of its time, but as said earlier, it’s more forward-thinking than you might think.
Steven Kaman co-wrote, co-produced, co-stars, and shot the movie, and probably had a grand old time with Ingvordsen, as they seemed to have given themselves the two leads in the movie. Kaman is responsible for utter dreck like Soul Of The Avenger (1997) and Total Force (1997), so luckily he did not direct this movie. Lance Henriksen gives gravity to his relatively small role, and he brightens the film. Keep in mind a big portion of this movie is mindless shooting, with plenty of machine guns and rocket launchers. So there is a bit of filler. Also it should be noted that Bone has a team of equally coolly-nicknamed warriors: Top Kick, Spook Show, Thor, Bigfoot, Ironman and Cowboy. They’re fighting Khaleel and his guys in Colombia, and some of this may remind you of Delta Force 2 (1990). As far as John Weiner is concerned, who plays Khaleel, he does a great job of being evil. We don’t know much about him, except for the fact that he was in Cyber Vengeance (1997). We’ll have to keep an eye out for him.
In all, Comrades In Arms is a reasonably good way to spend 90 minutes.
Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett