STUDIO: Cannon
MSRP: $14.96
RATED: R, ‘for Terrorist Violence and Plentiful Language’
• ‘Play Movie’ Option
• Chapter Stops

The Pitch

“It’s On Deadly Ground, but without Seagal or the giant bear!“

"I’ve made how many of these things?"

The Humans

Michael Dudikoff (Radioactive Dreams), Todd Curtis (The Young and the Restless) Keren Tishman (nothing else), R.Lee Ermey (The Frighteners)

The Nutshell

Dudikoff’s just your average Special Forces veteran trying to take it easy working at an oil refinery in the fictional republic of Qumir. He’s playing cards with his buddy, a token Good Muslim, when wouldn’t you know it– a truckload of commandos blow up the place and soon the Duder’s up to his highlights in intrigue. Who could be behind a plot to destroy U.S. relations with the Third World? Who stands to gain? Who’s working for who? How does the bad guy hide all that hair under his hat?

“Anyone else wanna take a little walk? You’re gonna need a note from your mom!” *

The Package

They don’t get much more bare-bones than this. You get a startup screen and a ‘play’ button and that’s it. Hey, at least you get a choice there. 9 chapter stops are encoded, but there’s no menu.

1.33 standard video, for that 1993-vintage late-night cable experience. Dolby Ultra Stereo.

tool of the trade
“Huh. I guess that was a gun in your pocket.”

The Lowdown

What I look for in this sort of movie is fast pacing, imaginative violence, and a hidden agenda. Chain of Command scores on all three counts. I was especially impressed with an early shootout: we’ve all seen the flaming stuntman falling off the balcony, but how many films take the time to show you the still-burning corpse on the ground? I ask you, how many?

crunchy on the outside
“I call drumstick!”
     “White meat!”                “Dibs on the neck!”

Then there’s that hidden agenda, and it’s a doozy. Historically, ‘B’ movies have always had an advantage over high-profile productions in that angry socio-political subtexts can slip right by the front office. Chain of Command invites us to imagine what would happen if a Western business concern decided to screw international law and just grab an oil-rich Middle Eastern country for themselves.

Fancy that.

*Genuine quote! How can I compete with material like this?

5 out of 10