U.S. Seals II
"U.S. SEALs 2 has all the production values of quality porn."
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.
AMERICAN NINJA MAN'S RATING: 6.5/10
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.)
ALEXANDER'S RATING: 3.5/10