Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission (1985)

Director: Andrew V. McLaglan

Starring: Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Richard Jaeckel, Ken Wahl, Larry Wilcox, Sonny Landham

More info: IMDb

Tagline: They're back... and deadlier than ever!

Plot: Major Reisman is "Volunteered" to lead another mission using convicted army soldiers, sentenced to either death or long prison terms. This time their mission is to kill a Nazi general who plans to assassinate Hitler.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Nah. Probably not.

OK, you can look at this one of two ways. 1) It's a cash grab sequel to one of the greatest war movies of all time and it's a shameless attempt to revisit something that didn't need a sequel - not in the 60s, not in the 80s, never. 2) It's great seeing Marvin, Borgnine and Jaeckel together again doing their bits from the first picture. Think of point 2 as being a reunion concert of a great 60s band; they've definitely aged over the last 20 years and they're not as sharp as they used to be but it sure is great seeing them on stage playing their classic tunes. That's how I see this one.

The first part of the film that deals with the setup, recruiting of the criminal soldiers and their training is the worst. It's a low-rent rehash of the original. BUT it's when they begin their mission is when this turns into a pretty decent WWII action picture. Plus you've got to consider this was made for TV. The action is quite good (there's a pretty tense car chase early on in the mission that blew me away, considering what this is and all) and the story is better than you'd think and is, thankfully, not parallel to the original. But gee wiz, we get to see Marvin, Borgnine and Jaeckel together for the last time (Marvin died two years later) and they're having a blast. So what they look old and tired. They were still making music that I wanted to hear.

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