Another 80’s movie ticked off the list. Not sure how I missed this one back in my VHS rental days. There has to be a very good chance my grubby digits stroked the cassette box whilst eyeing up the cover information.
Uncommon Valor is the film Ted Kotcheff directed after the legend of Rambo First Blood (1982). This time Gene Hackman jumps into the lead as a Dad on a mission. No ordinary Dad though, this is US Marine Colonel Jason Rhodes, a retired badass with some cash and a few friends in high places. Unfortunately 10 years ago his son Frank was captured along with some buddies at the end of the Vietnam war becoming POWs and assumed dead. Colonel Rhodes won’t except they are dead and sets aside a rescue squad of old Vietnam Vets who served in his son’s division. But first he has to persuade this messed up bunch of of veterans, all suffering from PTSD of some sorts, back into the hell’s mouth they had been lucky to survive, 10 years ago.
The gang consists of rookie Kevin Scott (Patrick Swayze). A beef cake BMX guy, joker and explosives expert, Blaster (Reb Brown). Messed up traumatised and claustrophobic Wilkes (Fred Ward – Tremors). Biker stoner, tripped out ballerina dancing, grenade wearing, kick boxer Sailor (Randall Tex Cobb – Raising Arizona) Plus two helicopter pilots Johnson (Harold Sylvester) and Charts (Tim Thomerson) who also finds time during the chaos to have a little love interest going.
Sailor – Man, I’m so far beyond that shit now. I get energy from the air. I talk to polar bears. I converse with paramecium. Man, I fuck nuclear waste.
This ragtag bunch have to go through training to get back fit and organised. This means we get a montage of hilarious training programs as the gang start to bond together. Lucky Colonel Rhodes has set up an exact copy of the prison camp they need to attack. After months of training with the perfect plan tried and tested over and over, what really could go wrong?
The crazy thing about this film is after half the film has been taken up with the getting the plan together routine, that as soon as they set foot in the country all their weapons, supplies and trucks are impounded. Those best laid plans go to shit, real fast…..
Sailor – Boy, you usin’ that oriental martial bullshit on me’s gonna get real expensive.
Can this hotchpotch band of brothers pull off this dangerous mission to rescue captured soldiers. Track it down for a watch, it’s good old fashioned 80’s macho action fun.
Here’s the great trailer that introduces all the players.
Further Reading Links