Sunday, 21 September 2014

Mercenaries (3½ Stars)

Today Burbank, tomorrow the world?

Christopher Ray, best known for directing shock horror films like "Two-Headed Shark Attack" and "Megashark vs. Crocosaurus", has now given the world more of what it likes to see: bad girls with guns! The American president's daughter has been captured and is being held in an unnamed Middle Eastern country that looks like Iran, though it might be a former Soviet republic. The USA military expert Mona (Cynthia Rothrock) knows that there is only one way to free her. America's top female soldiers, all currently imprisoned for going over the top in action, are assembled and sent on a mission to invade the top security prison called the Citadel.

Kristanna Loken is put at the front on the poster, since she is supposedly the film's biggest star. However, the team leader is Zoe Bell, and she's undoubtedly the best fighter in the group.

The similarity with "The Expendables" and its sequels is obvious. If not for copyright considerations the film might have been given a trashy name like "The Expendabelles" or "Expendababes", but I prefer "Mercenaries". It might be less expressive, but it's classier. From the exterior it might look like a cheap B-Film, but it's surprisingly well made and has a very good plot. Surprising, that is, if you aren't acquainted with Christopher Ray. Low budget doesn't mean low quality.

Burbank? Oh yes. "Mercenaries" won the best film award at the 2014 Burbank International Film Festival.

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