U.S. Seals II


"U.S. SEALs 2 has all the production values of quality porn."

- Alexander

U.S. Seals II (2001)

AKA: U.S. Seals II: The Ultimate Force

Director: Isaac Florentine

Producer: Todd Gilbert, Danny Lerner

Writer: Michael D. Weiss

Cast: Michael Worth, Damian Chapa, Karen Kim, Marshall R. Teague, Kate Connor, Mitch Gould, Andy Cheng (also fight choreographer), Sophia Crawford .Hakim Alston, Dan Southworth, Piamen Zahov, George Cheung, Burnell Tucker, Plamer Zahov, Cary Gliberman

Running Time: 95 min.

Plot: See reviews below.


AMERICAN NINJA MAN'S REVIEW: I realized once and for all that it's not a good thing to be considered abnormal. In fact I wouldn't have learned this as at all if not for fellow cityonfiree.com reviewer Alexander who also reviewed this movie. He has--over the last seven years--accused me of such abnormalities as having the worst taste in movies, being habitually bizarre and haveing ocasional bad grammer skillz. He's a pretty respectable writer with decent taste while I’m low budget. But it became apparent recently that perhaps Alex was right: I am crazy and I love crap. I didn't realize this until I found myself orgasming at the delight of finding Bruce Lee: The Invincible in the dollar bargain bin. But it wasn't until I watched U.S. SEALs II that I decided to take the first step to recovery and take Alex's advice and seek professional help. My shrink's name is Dr. Laurence who--like the female protagonist in this movie--is a hot chick who sports a D-cup and some brains.
My first session went something like this:

Dr. Laurence: So why are you here, Ryan?

ANM: Call me "ANM,” OK?

Dr. Laurence: Is “ANM” part of your multiple personality disorder?

ANM: Possibly. Anyway, I'm here because I just watched U.S. SEALs II and I really enjoyed it.

Dr. Laurence: Well that's not necessary a call for concern. Many people like various movies, good or bad.

ANM: But U.S Seals II's plot line is about a Navy SEAL unit that goes to a guarded strong hold that contains flammable air, so flammable that Damian Chapa...

Dr. Laurence: Who is Damian Chapa?

ANM: He's the guy who played Ken in Street Fighter. He was also in Under Siege and he kinda looks like the guy from The Warriors who says "Warriors, come out to plaaaaay!" At one point Chapa threatens to shoot a guy for firing his gun on the island to prove how dangerous it is. It's apparently so dangerous that the SEALs come armed with swords, knifes, staffs and even a paintball gun. However, this doesn't stop Chapa from smoking cigars.

Dr. Laurence: A paintball gun? Why would anyone want to use a paintball gun as a weapon?

ANM: Have you ever been shot with a paintball gun? It hurts like a motherfucker. This one shoots acid balls which burn holes in the bad guys. And...

Dr. Laurence: If it shoots acid balls, why didn't they just give all of the soldiers paintball guns?

ANM: See, that's what I'm saying; this movie’s story is so bad and there are so many leaps of logic, I feel guilty for enjoying it. The bad guy in this movie is played by Michael Worth and also on board is Marshall Teague who was in Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2 and Total Recall. Michael Worth is a martial artist who was in a lame Lorenzo Lamas movie called Final Impact.

Dr. Laurence: Lorenzo Lamas? Mr. Worth's claim to fame is being in a Lamas flick?

ANM: He was also in a Gary Busey/Jeff Fahey flick called Ghost Rock.

Dr. Laurence: This really does sound pretty terrible, ANM.

ANM: It gets worse. Do you know that there is a doctor who is supposed to be an expert on nuclear missiles and she sports glasses (think Tara Reid in Alone in the Dark) yet despite wears very skimpy outfits, has huge boobs (that she doesn't even show) and explains things that the missile will do that most people would imagine would happen if a nuclear missile exploded.

Dr. Laurence: So let me get this straight. You enjoyed a movie that has C-list actors like Lorenzo Lamas and features a highly illogical story surrounding an island that will explode if someone fires a gun. How do the bad guys plan on launching the missile without blowing themselves up?

ANM: I feel so guilty about liking such an awful movie such as this.

Dr. Laurence: Now, now. Admitting the problem is already half the battle. Continue.

ANM: The villain’s motivation is revenge. Michael Worth wants vengeance on Damian Chapa for killing his master's daughter, and the master's other daughter--the twin sister of the dead daughter--goes along to up the stakes, although it's clearly obvious she was brought in to engage in a catfight with a blonde bimbo with big tits. Also, there is tons of gore as one man is split in half —from crotch to head--and fight sequences occur frequently enough to make me forget all about that stupid plot stuff.

Dr. Laurence: These fight sequences are good?

ANM: Generally, yes, but they are often so ridiculous and so over the top that we can't help but accept that the movie is nothing but hyper-intensified martial arts battles that are about as credible as those in American Ninja 2.

Dr. Laurence: Speaking of which, does your alter ego, ANM, derive from that movie?

ANM: Yes. And I'm here because someone with taste said that I watch movies that people would pay not to watch, and because Alex hated this movie, I want to know if I'm positively crazy or just have bad taste.

Dr Laurence: You do like this movie, right?

ANM: Yes, doc.

Dr. Laurence: It sounds like a rip off of Navy SEALs, Die Hard and any Bruce Le movie of your choice. It has a D-list no-name actor who is a decent martial artist and the action sequences are well-staged but ultimately ridiculous. There are numerous plot holes, the acting is horrid, people fire acid balls in a paintball gun, a guy gets split in half while standing and it's about revenge and the pursuit of happiness the American way by basically kicking the ass of your enemy. In other words, this is a B-movie that exists solely to be watched either late night or under the influence of chemical substances. This is far more serious than I thought, ANM.

ANM: What is the diagnosis?

Dr. Laurence: I'm afraid Alex is right. You suffer from BMD, or Bad Movie Disorder. The symptoms are expressed amazement from watching mindless action, stupid stories and highly unlikely situations. You find yourself drawn to these movies and you thrive in these outlets because all of the disappointments in your life. When you watch a bad movie, the bad movie tells the voices in your head that said movie is good.

ANM: What do you prescribe?

Dr.Laurence: Booze and weed.

ANM: How much of it would it take for you to find me sexy?

Dr. Laurence: That isn't ethical, but given your demeanor, your personality, the paunch you’ve grown since your kickboxing days and the fact that you have a girlfriend, I'd say a good six or seven drinks. Minimum. Of course, that does puts you in the upper 75th percentile for COFers. Our time is up, ANM, and my next client, MPM, is waiting. Seems he’s a bit too transfixed on Mickey Rourke and the movie Double Team. Send him in, please.

ANM: OK, doc.


ALEXANDER'S REVIEW: I'm enamored by the elite branches of America's military, including the Army's Green Berets and DELTA, the Marine's Force Recon and the Navy's SEALs. There's just something about grown men smeared with green and black face paint being inserted behind enemy lines to covertly decimate large groups of insurgents that appeals to me. I read the books (John Plaster's non-fiction book "S.O.G." is a favorite), watch the television shows (if you haven't seen USA's reality show "Combat Missions", you're missing out), collect the action figures (Dragon Models, Ltd.'s are tops) and read the articles. Unfortunately, despite the Special Forces major role in recent skirmishes abroad, few movies have been released that accurately and respectfully chronicle the exciting stories of America's commandos. The few that have managed to make it to the screen have flat-out sucked (with the scarily authentic "Black Hawk Down" the lone exception). John Wayne's "The Green Berets" is hokey, chest-thumping rhetoric. Chuck Norris' "Delta Force" series is Reagan-era camp. "G.I. Jane", while sleek as hell, is bogged down by its "message" and a bald Demi Moore. And "Navy SEALs" features Charlie Sheen, which is all you need to know about "Navy SEALs".

So, to satiate my appetite for covert warfare I rented "U.S. SEALS 2", intrigued by the gear-laden, MP5 toting frogman on the box art. I figured it couldn't be any worse than the aforementioned films and, knowing it was choreographed by Jackie Chan stunt double Andy Cheng, I knew I'd at least have an excuse to review the film for COF afterwards.

Boy, was I wrong.

"U.S. SEALS 2" is basically about an elite team of divers who must infiltrate the island base of a renegade SEAL who plans on launching a nuclear missile if his demand for one billion dollars is not met. Complicating matters is the air quality on this remote Siberian (!) outpost: Sparks from a gun will detonate the air (don't ask) and decimate the entire base. In addition, a samurai sword-wielding, Japanese civilian is invited to tag along to avenge the murder and rape of her twin sister years before by the demonic villain. To make things even MORE difficult for our acting-challenged crew, a nuclear scientist who favors high heels and mini skirts has been abducted to help launch the deadly rocket. She MUST be saved!

The film stars Michael Worth (whose credits include an episode of "Saved by the Bell: The New Class") as the heroic Casey; Karen Kim (2nd flight attendant in the first episode of Fox's "24") as vengeful Kamiko AND sultry Nikki; Damien Chappa as the crazed Ratliff; and Andy Cheng as the blond (!) coiffed assassin, Artie (!). There's also a salty colonel accompanying the team who exclaims "Son of a bitch!" every 10 seconds. (Mercifully, he's eviscerated by a very long sword. His last words? "No regrets, Casey. No regrets. Just kick ass." HOO-RAH, soldier!) These thespians were obviously hired for their ability to fight without the need of stunt doubles as their acting left me longing for the grinning, floppy haired Charlie Sheen in the aforementioned "Navy SEALs".

I knew this movie was going to suck just moments after popping it into the DVD player. The opening credits look as if they were created on someone's home PC. Casey and his team storm a dock in the film's first scene armed only with handguns and wearing nothing but wetsuits and hair gel. No ammo. No respirators. No camouflage face paint. Just pistols and rubber suits. When the enemy is engaged, Casey does a nifty back flip (so SEAL-like!) then punches holes into his enemy with guns blazing in each hand (so Woo-like!). It gets worse. When infiltrating the secretive Siberian base (who knew Siberia had sandy beaches?), the elite team of cobbled together misfits ("Uncommon Valor", anyone?) slips from the water in wetsuits, knives and...gold chains. One bad-ass even brings along his denim shirt.

"U.S. SEALs 2" has all the production values of quality porn. Sweaty sex between the hot, high-heeled nuclear scientist and the chiseled ex-SEAL would not have been out of place here. Costumes appear cobbled together from Army surplus stores and these supposedly equipment-laden elite fighters head into battle with nothing but flashlights and jewelry. Also, inexplicably, every punch and every turn of the head is accompanied by a VERY loud "whoosh".

Sound effect of someone turning their head: "WHOOSH!"

Sound effect of a SEAL kicking a bad guy in the head: "WHOOSH!"

Sound of someone reaching into their pocket for a cigarette: "WHOOSH!"

I'm not going to give the film a 0 as it's far from the worst I've ever seen (that would be "Girls in the Hood"). There IS a decent fight sequence towards the end of the film that rivals anything I've seen in Hong Kong cinema. It's creative and intense and spotlights the acrobatic talents of Kim and Worth Worth has a certain B-movie action star quality that's somewhat appealing and Karen Kim has a unique look and convincingly kicks a lot of ass. Both would do well to fire their agents.


(Incidentally, four of the best movies about special operations are foreign productions. "Final Option" and "Bravo Two Zero" are British films about their elite S.A.S. "Attack Force Z", an Australian film starring Mel Gibson, is cheesy World War 2 melodrama, but is great nonetheless. The fourth, the Hong Kong production "First Option", blows "US SEALS" out of the water with its authentic uniforms and weapons and intense action scenes.)