Monday 24 August 2015

The Hunt For Eagle One

…..or, to give the film a more accurate title: The Fruitless Search For Anything Vaguely Resembling Entertainment.

Yee Gods. At Exploding Helicopter we know our job will involve watching some right royal stinkers. But, even by the sorry standards of the worst works we’ve ever endured, The Hunt For Eagle One (2006) is stupefyingly dull.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a towering work of tedium; a monument of mundanity; or if you want to get really poncey, basilica of boredom. In other words, it’s not very good.

The plot

Al-Qaeda terrorists are hiding out in the Filipino Jungle plotting a chemical weapon attack, so a squad of American soldiers are sent in to assassinate them.

But when the hit squad are captured, a rescue team is sent in to complete the mission and get our boys back.

Can our heroes rescue the prisoners? Will they stop the terror plot? Or will we all just turn off the TV and go and do something less boring instead?

Will the hostages be brutally slain? Can the villains’ terror plot be stopped? Or will we turn off the TV and go and do something less boring instead?

Who the hell’s in this?

There’s a predictably low-rent cast in this straight to DVD actioner. Leading the heroic rescue team is martial arts nearly-man Mark Dacascos. Over the years, our Mark has made some good films (Drive), some cult films (the gloriously daft DNA), and a shed load of fantastically boring films. (No prizes for guessing which camp this one falls into).

Which is rather a shame, as Dacascos is a great martial artist and a decent actor to boot. Sadly, he’s never regularly married those talents to a quality film. It’s probably why lesser lights have enjoyed better careers.

Mark Dacascos: nearly man
And talking of wasted talents, the film also stars perennial B-movie presence Rutger Hauer (who briefly appears as an army General). Despite a magnetic screen presence, the blonde Dutchman has spent the last 30 years working almost exclusively in DTV dreck.

You’d have thought he could have enjoyed a profitable and prestigious career as a supporting actor in better grade Hollywood fare. Indeed, ten years ago it seemed Hauer was trying to reorient his career in this direction, with small but memorable turns in Batman Begins and Sin City.

But it proved a false dawn, as Rutger was soon back on the DTV treadmill and pimping-out his mellifluous voice for television adverts. Today, he’s probably best known as ‘the bloke what does them butter adverts’.

Just how dull is this film?

The Hunt For Eagle One was so mind-numbing that at several points in the film I contemplated self-harming to check if my nervous system was still functioning.

It’s not that nothing happens - there’s a typical quotient of gun battles and explosions - rather that a lifeless malaise infects the production.

Many a predictable plot has been enlivened by a colourful villain, inventive action or a wise-cracking hero. Here, the filmmakers eschew all that in favour of the bland or lacklustre. It all adds up to an anaemic action movie.

Exploding helicopter action

After the assassination squad are captured, the army initially tries to rescue them by sending in a couple of helicopters. Unfortunately, given that we’re only 20 minutes into a 90 minute movie we can be pretty certain this mission isn’t going to end successfully. Sure enough, the guerrillas are armed with some rocket launchers which they use to shoot down the rescue helicopters.

Artistic merit

Frankly, there’s very little merit to these chopper fireballs. The explosions are brief and the fireball effects are inserted over the top of the helicopters. Clearly they couldn’t afford to actually blow them up.

Number of exploding helicopters

Two. We get to see another crash, but it doesn't explode.

Favourite line

Exploding Helicopter loves the cod military bollocks characters spout in these kind of films. In keeping with the film’s universally bland approach, the soldiers’ mission is unexcitingly codenamed “Operation Housekeeping”.

This allows one actor to memorably declare the line: “We are go for Housekeeping.”

Which, ultimately, is good advice. Certainly your time would be more profitably and entertainingly spent doing the hoovering than watching this rubbish.

Interesting fact

A sequel, The Hunt For Eagle One: Crash Point was filmed the same year. Mercifully, after fast-forwarding through the film Exploding Helicopter, was relieved to find that it did not feature a chopper fireball sparing us the need to actually watch this ordure.

Review by: Jafo


  1. Probably my least favorite Mark Dacascos movie ever... I have never been able to get myself to watch the sequel.

  2. This was a tough sit. I really didn't have any appetite to watch the sequel, so I fast-forwarded through it to check if it had an exploding helicopter. Mercifully, it didn't feature one so I didn't have to rewind and watch the thing properly.