Saturday, January 23, 2010

Iron Eagle

(Sidney J. Furie, 1986)
After a quarter century abroad, Canada's original indie feature filmmaker returned home to produce this piece of fascistic, explicitly Reaganist garbage, and I wish I could say my heart was swelling with patriotic pride. With shamelessly simple-minded dishonesty, the film channels Everyteen's angst and bravado into the indiscriminate and patriotic slaughter of foreigners, as he flies overseas to single-handedly rescue his dad from an Arabic kangaroo court. Pretty grim, and though the aesthetic is very 80s the ideology is sadly current in these here parts. And yet, I'm far enough from ground zero that I didn't find the movie completely unwatchable. The premise is so utterly outrageous that it's instructional - an impassioned, Ramboesque cry against the US military's shameful tendency to embrace diplomacy. It's too oppressive for true camp, but it is pretty funny that the entire plot hinges on a massive and comprehensive breach of American military intelligence by a bunch of goofy teenagers. And while the identification of African-American culture with military adventurism is no less offensive than the coming-of-age stuff, Louis Gossett Jr.'s proxy father figure keeps the movie alive with his looka-me-I-won-a-Oscar ACTING.

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