by Bruce Walsh | New World Home Video
Antonio Margheriti didn't use the pseudonym
Anthony M. Dawson he would be proud to be
CODENAME's director. This is a MOOOVIE where
all the inane subplots fall into place to
create an entertaining Action/Adventure.
And what a cast! Lewis (FINAL
OPTION) Collins plays the highly confident
and somewhat overzealous Captain Wesley.
The ever-jovial Klaus Kinski plays the GQ
merc Charlton (he has more costume changes
than Imelda Marcos). Lee (CAPTAIN APACHE)
Van Cleef is the hardened veteran helicopter
pilot Colonel Travers, whose prison sentence
could be commuted upon completion of the
mission. Ernest (HIGH RISK) Borgnine floats
through as Fletcher, head of the DEA in
Hong Kong. Unfortunately, the babe element
lacks. With the less-than-appetizing Mimsey
(who cares?) Farmer as the Canadian reporter
captured by drug dealers. The only decent
babe is a secretary named Sarah who doesn't
even rate credits.
The mission: "Two
days work, burn some opium in the triangle."
Explanation: "We get paid...that's
The dialogue is minimalistic
macho do-or-die statements, the way all
movie (and for that matter, human) conversation
should be. The all-so-important "See
ya in Hell" and the highly entertaining
"When you kill them make it slow...I
want them to suffer...and then take pictures"
each pop up.
There's a bunch of other neat
stuff too, like: lots o' explosions and
shootings, long-distance knife throwing,
a senseless stop-animation car chase, Khmer
Rogue, drug dealers, a missionary, opium
fiends, and the ever-popular crucifixion.
And quite possibly the best use ever of
a flamethrower -- in a movie. And how could
I forget the Israeli merc Habib.
A Feel Good Hit!