U.S. Seals: Dead or Alive (2002)

US Seals Three DVD CoverThe U.S. Seals trilogy ends the only way it possibly could – with the coming of Stormbringer! In two glorious previous films, the Seals battled an old guy who threatened world security with boring rhetoric (U.S. Seals) and an island of bad guys full of super special gas that prevented the use of bullets and thus necessitated the use of swords, blow guns, and kickfighting (U.S. Seals II). All of that though was a lazy summer day at Pollyanna’s tea party compared to the mission to recover Stormbringer!

Though Stormbringer sounds like the name of Odin’s sword, it was actually something far more deadly, powerful, and scary than some wimpy has-been God’s weapon of vengeance! It was an old Russian bomb with SIX warheads! That means you’re pretty much getting U.S Seals 6 for the price of U.S. Seals 3!

The guys from the first two U.S. Seals movies were pretty good. Okay, they were U.S. Seals, so they were the best! But I think we can all agree that we’re going to need better than the best to take down Stormbringer. Besides, as good as all those other U.S. Seals were, it’s not like we actually remember who they were, right?

Enter the next generation of U.S. Seals! Guys so next generation that most of them are played by inexpensive actors from Eastern Europe where the movie was shot! But don’t worry! The leader of the U.S. Seals is a pure red, white and blue dude name Tyler Christopher! And he’s not some porn star despite that name! Even better, he’s a soap opera stud who was married to Eva Longoria once upon a time! You can’t get much more American than that!

Tyler plays the Seal commander named Rick. Rick is the sort of Seal commander who goes on a mission to nab super-terrorist Casper (Robert Mitchum’s grandson Bentley!) at the beginning of the movie, only to have the entire mission blown sky high by a nervous team member.

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Rick’s best friend Steve is also killed on the mission and now all Rick wants is revenge on the evil Casper.

As if being haunted by his best friend’s death isn’t bad enough (and Rick gets credit for being haunted enough to have flashbacks to a mission where Steve saved his life while lots of stuff blew up in the background), he’s also saddled with some problem team members for the next mission which involves Stormbringer.

He’s forced to bring along that damn Baker who screwed up the last mission. Baker is the son of a senator who is on the Armed Services Committee so despite Rick knowing it’s B.S., he has to go along because of politics!

Rick’s day though is about to get even worse because then he’s ordered to take along a captured terrorist to assist in the hunt for Strombringer! A terrorist that was captured during the mission where Rick’s best friend was killed! It goes without saying that this is pretty much a suicide mission, but Rick’s commanding officer goes ahead and says it anyway!

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U.S. Seals:Dead Or Alive sets all the special forces movie plot points up with military precision. Can Rick avoid jeopardizing the mission by trying to get revenge on Casper for Steve’s death? Will Rick get revenge on Casper for Steve’s death anyway? Will Baker keep messing up and endangering the team? Will Baker perform some heroic act and give his life for the mission? Can the team truly trust the terrorist that is now part of U.S. Seals? How fast will the totally obvious doublecross occur once the team gets into Albania? And most importantly for the viewer watching at home, how much surplus military equipment and containers marked “petrol” will be exploding?

Fans of straight-to-DVD commando team movies will be pleased to know that as soon as U.S. Seals hit the dingy streets of Albania (for some reason the Albanian army is involved with the Russian army and Stormbringer) everything goes according to plan.

Baker panics at a checkpoint and blows the team’s cover forcing them to flee in a hail of gunfire and tank explosions. The terrorist on the team pulls the double cross we’ve been waiting for. And Rick manages to make a dumb decision because he wants to get Casper. Clearly, when Rick’s CO advised it was nearly a suicide mission, he had worked with Rick before.

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Some of the more pedantic types out there have criticized this film because of the creative license it takes with some of the details. I’ve seen people complain about the wrong ranks being used for naval personnel and I’m sure a lot of folks would say the real Navy Seals probably wouldn’t take a terrorist with them on a secret mission behind enemy lines.

And a case could be made that a rubber boat (which the US Seals just happened to find loaded with hand grenades) might not be able to sink a freighter the size of the Empire State Building in 6 seconds, but the important thing to remember is that we got to see the US Seals blow up a big ass freighter with just a dinky rubber boat!

You’ve also got an enemy compound blown up with so much explosive I can still smell the cordite! And not one, but two army troop carriers are wrecked, one going over a cliff in a quarry and another plunging into the water off a dock! Casper even has a sneering, ugly blonde Eurotrash girlfriend who is an expert in martial arts!

Sure, some details probably weren’t totally true to life (like Albania having an army), but if you value your country’s national security, you not only don’t mind these inaccuracies, you want them! In short, if you hate U.S. Seals: Dead Or Alive, you don’t support the troops and you hate our great country and are no better than Casper!

© 2013 MonsterHunter

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