Lewis Collins in Code Name: Wild Geese (1984)

Lots of Bangs for Your Buck

In Hong Kong, DEA man Fletcher (Ernest Borgnine) employs the services of Commander Robin Wesley (Lewis Collins) and the mercenaries who work for him to take on a special mission. The mission is to enter the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia and over throw a dictator who is a major source of the Opium being shipped to the West. But the mission doesn't go to plan and as Wesley loses some of his men it becomes a battle of survival to get out of the country.

It's a good day when you learn something new and as I looked for information on "Code Name: Wild Geese" I came across it being called a "macaroni combat" movie. I can't remember having heard that term before although I am pretty sure I stumbled across the alternative "Euro War" moniker a few years back. Anyway what it means in the context of "Code Name: Wild Geese" is an Italian made war film which mimics what Hollywood was doing with the likes of the "Dirty Dozen" where we have a group of men sent on a dangerous mission but it doesn't have the production value of a Hollywood movie.

Lee Van Cleef in Code Name: Wild Geese (1984)

Now forget the lack of production and "Code Name: Wild Geese" has all the ingredients you expect from such a movie; the dangerous mission, the conflict between some of the team, the declining numbers as some people get killed whilst things don't go exactly as planned and it become a battle to get out of the country. It also has Lewis Collins delivering a typical action man role alongside some big names in Lee Van Cleef and Ernest Borgnine. In truth "Code Name: Wild Geese" has all the parts they just don't seem to be put together in the best way.

So yes that brings me back to the production and from blurred cinematography to heavy handed editing it ends up a weaker and typical mid 80s Euro movie, the sort where the voices don't always match up with the actor's lips. I have a real feeling that movies like "Code Name: Wild Geese" only really work for those who were young and enjoyed "macaroni combat" movies back when they were being made but when stumbled across later on in life they end up feeling inferior and a bit of a chore.

What this all boils down to is that whilst "Code Name: Wild Geese" had all the ingredients to be a good action movie the production values let it down for me and found it all a bit of a chore to watch due to the heavy handed editing and inconsistent cinematography.