Strike Commando 2 - Strike Commando 2(Blu Ray) [Severin - 2021]
Having recently experienced the glory of Bruno Mattei’s Strike Commando, I was delighted to receive its sequel to review. Mattei is a jack of all trades, having tried his hand at every genre, yet he’s mastered none, except perhaps the trash classic. Mattei is most well known for his Fulci inspired zombie epics, Zombie Creeping Flesh, Zombie 3: Hello of the Living Dead and Rats: Night of Terror, however, over the years he has tried his hand at pretty much every genre imaginable, and in the late 1980s he turned his attention to the action/adventure movies that were being spawned as vehicles for the likes of Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Norris and Van Damme. The Strike Commando films fit squarely into that category.
In the first film, Mattei created a trash classic in the ‘Namsploitation’ field, however, after its success, he returned to the Filipino jungle to direct a sequel, with a bigger budget, even more action and the legend that is Richard Harris! Yes, that Richard Harris, the English thespian who trod the boards with the RSC, and also starred in classics like A Man Called Horse, Gladiator and the Harry Potter movies.
Strike Commando 2 sees the return of action hero Mike Ransom (this time played by Brent Huff of Gwendoline, Shameless US and Nine Deaths of A Ninja fame). For this film our hero is assigned to rescue his former Vietnam colleague, Major Vic Jenkins (Harris) from a group of terrorists who are demanding $10m in diamonds for his return. The CIA despatch our hero to find and rescue Major Jenkins.
The film, much like its predecessor, is a gloriously, overblown action epic that is enormous fun to watch, despite the fact it remains a load of old rubbish. The performances are suitably awful with the exception of Harris, who despite his slumming it remains the best thing about the film, and Huff who plays the role of the cheesy action hero to perfection. Interestingly, Harris went into retirement for several years after filming Strike Commando 2, a sure sign of its standing in the world of cinema.
The film looks better than it perhaps deserves, having been drawn from a brand new 2k scan of the original negatives. This is great news for fans as this is the first time the film has appeared on disc anywhere in the world. Sadly, the disc is short on bonus material with interviews with screenwriter Claudio Fragasso and star Brent Huff. If you love your action on the exploitative side, then this frankly bonkers sequel and its predecessor are definitely worth your time.Darren Charles