Just Some Euro Action Stuff

Lewis Collins in Der Commander (1988)

The cautious Col. Mazzarini (Lee Van Cleef) hires his old friend, mercenary Major Colby (Lewis Collins) for an important mission as a computer disc containing sensitive information has ended up in the wrong hands in South Asia. What Colby doesn't know is the one of his team is in fact an impostor hired by Government official Henry Carlson (Donald Pleasence) to grab the disc. But it seems the double crossing doesn't stop there as Mazzarini has planted his own man, Angelo (Romano Puppo) in the group to make sure things run his way.

Back in 1988 I was in my mid teens and having bought my own VCR a year or so earlier my passion for movies was really lifting off as I spent most of my cash on buying videos and recording movies off of TV. Now like many a teenage boy back in the 80s I enjoyed the action movies of Schwarzenegger and Stallone as well as the mission movies of the late 70s such as "The Wild Geese" but I never took to the Euro action movies such as "Der Commander" and those which starred stony faced Lewis Collins. And sadly to this day these poorly dubbed action movies have never really been my thing.

So that brings me to "Der Commander" and it is everything one suspects from one of these lower budgeted 80s action movies from the synth heavy incidental music to the shady men who always wear light coloured suits rather than dark. There is also the issue of poor dubbing which also makes the poor dialogue sound even more unnatural with even such talented actors as Donald Pleasence unable to make it work.

But the worst thing about "Der Commander" is that it is a surprisingly wordy action movie with lots of scenes of people talking around the table or in the shadows but never saying anything of the least bit interesting. It is a case that if you sucked out all the time filling fluff in "Der Commander" I seriously doubt there would be 30 minutes of movie left and about 10 minutes of that would be action which was thrown in just to break up on the static scenes rather than actually being critical to the story.

What this all boils down to is that "Der Commander" is a typical mid 80s Euro action movie which I know for some people will be a good thing. But for me it isn't as sadly the wordy nature, the poor dubbing and unconvincing action all end up being huge distractions.

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