Monday, February 15, 2010

The Last Chase

(Martyn Burke, 1981)
This plus "Firebird 2015" equals an actual new genre: NEPsploitation, anyone? Heartening that it didn't catch on - with its paeans to liberty and rugged individualism inseparable from the fossil-fuel monkey on its back, it's a wonder similar productions aren't rocking Fort McMurray to this day. Forcibly retired race car driver Lee Majors is so sobbingly self-righteous in his expose of public transit as a commie plot that I nearly bit a hole in my bottom lip getting through the first act, and computer/explosives nerd Chris Makepeace is mainly an inert object on which Majors can practice surrogate daddyhood. Please take my word for it when I tell you that this is the highest-quality production of its two-film movement; Majors does shut the fuck up eventually, and the vehicles here do drive in a straight line toward a tangible objective, instead of doing donuts nowhere forever. And Burgess Meredith lends an appropriate note of abject insanity to his role as the un-retired fighter pilot nemesis. But repositioning the imaginary Indians from murderous conspirators to ripe-for-slaughter symbols of 'freedom' isn't really much of an improvement, and it's utterly impossible to give a damn about the dorks at Master Control - a one-dimensional bitch, a one-dimensional Strangelovian bureaucrat, and the guy from "Goofballs".

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