The Trident Force (1989)

Abu Hassad, a super-terrorist who does drugs and screws boys in between terror attacks, is positively wearing out the world on behalf of the Palestinian group he leads. When he’s not behind an attack on a British desert base in the Middle East, he’s involved with a suicide bomber in Malaysia or shooting up the Israeli ambassador and his wife and kids!

When the elite special forces of various countries aren’t enough to stop this madman, the only solution is…Trident Force. Which is a combination of soldiers from the elite special forces that couldn’t get the job done in the first place!

As an avowed special forces movie groupee, I was certainly standing at attention when the best of the SAS, Delta Force, Mossad, Boy Scouts, the Jaycees, etc. were flown to the American/Canadian border for an intense couple of weeks of training where they would be molded into Trident Force. At first they’re squabbling over card games and not really taking things seriously. (One guy asks the commanding officer who cuts his hair during their initial mustering, provoking an immediate and well-deserved beatdown by the aforementioned CO with bad hair).

Slowly though, through the bullying and racism exhibited by the mercenary trainer named Ox, Trident Force gets their crap together and dominates the mercs in a mock battle in the woods. Frankly, considering the live fire, Ox trying to knife our hero Rashid during a judo training exercise and all the tripwired spiked mantraps in the woods, the missions against Abu Hassad later on were like a vacation! But that’s what makes Trident Force the best in the world! (Or is it their snazzy black uniforms and special Trident Force logo?)

But the story of Trident Force is really the story of Rashid. Mainly because Rashid is the only guy we ever focus on. Rashid was with Trident Force’s CO way back in the beginning when the British base was attacked by Hassad’s forces. Rashid’s brother was also there and handled himself so well, he became an undercover agent who infiltrated Hassad’s inner circle. How excited are you to find out what Rashid does once the inevitable happens to his brother?

With Rashid’s brother’s intel, Trident Force starts disrupting Hassad’s schemes, but the biggest attack is yet to come! It’s the big peace talks in the fake country of Qumarnesia! With important delegates from countries like America, Egypt, and Israel, it’s a prime target for Hassad, or should I say Chin Ho’s Catering?

In one of Hassad’s greatest strokes of genius, his people drive an obviously terrorist van with “Chin Ho’s Catering” plastered on the side right through security and the attack is on! But thank god for Trident Force, right? Uh, more like thank god for the West Africa delegate having a submachine gun stashed under the table! But Trident Force was also there shooting guys!

But even with this plot foiled, Abu Hassad is still on the loose! Following the hilarious scene involving the package with human remains (the box helpfully said “To: Rashid From: Beirut Embassy”), Rashid is suddenly by himself buck naked and cutting all his hair off with a knife! For our more traditional value oriented viewers, do not worry! No other members of Trident Force are involved in the nude male shaving scenes! In fact, the rest of Trident Force completely disappears from the remainder of the movie!

With no explanation, it’s just Rashid doing a one man raid on Abu Hassad’s compound and killing everyone before coming face to face with Hassad and using the special sword he brought along to deliver some graphic poetic justice.

And then just as suddenly as it all began, it ends! With a freeze frame on Rashid right after he dispatches Hassad, looking off into the distance! (He was probably wondering where the hell the rest of Trident Force was! “Oh wait, maybe I forgot to tell them…”)

Trident Force is a bit a of strange experience, suffering from some of the worst pacing you’ll ever likely endure in these sorts of films. The prologue establishing Abu Hassad as a bad guy goes on way too long, including the desert raid that starts the film which was so lengthy it felt like it should have been the end of the movie. The middle part of the film depicting the training was just as off-putting with the guys suddenly going from bickering dimwits to invincible fighting team due to no apparent reason. And once unleashed, Trident Force doesn’t manage to do much of anything at all, being upstaged by a freaking diplomat during the big peace talk raid. And the last act with Rashid confronting Abu Hassad felt like it was from an entirely different movie!

There’s an effective use of native music during some of the sequences that was a nice break from the generic instrumental garbage that usually is used in these sorts of Filipino action movies and it appears an effort was made to be serious with all of this, but it’s almost as if someone shot an outline of a movie with no regard for developing character (we hardly knew anything about even Rashid), how long scenes should last or lead into one another, or that the ending not only made no sense, but rendered the rest of the movie pointless. (If Rashid knew where Abu Hassad was, could just walk in there by himself guns blazing and take him out, why was Hassad such a problem in the first place and why didn’t Trident Force or anyone else raid his compound earlier?)

© 2018 MonsterHunter

2 thoughts on “The Trident Force (1989)

  1. “the only solution is…Trident Force. Which is a combination of soldiers from the elite special forces that couldn’t get the job done in the first place!”

    Truly awesomely stupid. That’s the kind of idiotic plotting I always loved in my D-movies.

    BTW, do you recall the name of a “Dirty Dozen” ripoff starring Brian Thompson, where he was in command of a group of “badass” girls? And he had to pose as their gay manager? Whoever had the idea Brian Thompson could “act”, let alone portray a gay character, should at least receive an honorary Oscar.

  2. The movie was “Hired to Kill” which I have not seen yet, but based on that description and the fact that Oliver Reed and George Kennedy are both somehow in it, it sounds essential.

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