U.S. Seals II (2001)

US Seals Two DVD CoverIn the grand tradition of The Godfather Part II and Psycho Cop Returns, U.S. Seals II drops in under cover of darkness and totally obliterates its predecessor. And most startlingly of all, it does so without using any guns!

The first U.S. Seals was a stodgily conventional special ops melodrama that failed to bring anything new or patriotic to the elite military unit genre with its routine revenge story and its less-than-jacked middle-aged villain.

Add in all the by-now over-familiar reliance on cheap eastern European locations, extras, and military equipment, and you can forgive a grunt like me who’s done a ton of tours with flicks like this over the years from nodding off during the silly fist fight that concluded that movie. Still, there were two more U.S. Seals films after that, so someone must have seen something in the series, right?

Enter director Isaac Florentine. Florentine has demonstrated an ability to squeeze as much ass kick out of as little as humanly possible in such films as the great Desert Kickboxer, Savate with Olivier Gruner, and Nu Image’s jingositically entertaining special forces effort called Special Forces.

He ditches all the crappy stuff from U.S. Seals (everything except the title and the Old Man giving the orders) and adds everything we love in movies about guys who never want to leave a man behind, but always end up getting every man killed except the sexy girlfriend.

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Remember the off-putting puffy Euro poof who ran the pirating operation we were supposed to worry about in U.S. Seals? Circus seals could’ve handled that over-stuffed blowhard! This time around, the U.S. Seals have to go up against one of their own!

This time it’s personal! And everything our hero Casey knows, the evil Ratliff knows, too! What can possibly tip the balance in Casey’s favor? How about the samurai-sword wielding, kung fu expert sister of the gal that Ratliff raped and killed?

Raped and killed a woman? That’s definitely pretty freaking villainous, but U.S. Seals
isn’t in this half way! This girl was the daughter of Casey and Ratliff’s sensai! And their sensai commits hari-kari after he finds out his daughter is dead!

That’s the sort of evil karma that could probably serve as the basis for six or seven normal kickboxing revenge movies, but U.S. Seals II is out to prove that there’s a reason the team’s motto is, “no regrets. Just kick some ass!” as one dying character so eloquently put it!

You see, Ratliff isn’t just some raping and murdering dirtbag! He’s also gone and set up a secret base on an abandoned Soviet compound on some island and is demanding a billion dollars from the United States government or he is going to launch a stealth Soviet missile and nuke a whole bunch of stuff we don’t want nuked!

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So what? We just send in the Seals to take him down hard, right? Except for one thing! The reason the Soviets abandoned the island compound was a big chemical fire! Freaking methane everywhere! One spark will the blown the entire island sky high! And we need to rescue a scientist held hostage!

The Seals are going to have go in without any guns to search and destroy this creep straight into hell! So they’re going to need not just any old Seal team like all the gun-toting dudes from the first movie! They’re going to need the most motley crew of screw ups, jack offs, and assholes ever assembled from Seal spare parts! It’s going to take a half dirty dozen of them or so!

It almost seems like Florentine is showing off after setting up the concept that these U.S. Seals are going to be a band of hastily-assembled misfits who have to fight with chains, knives, and expertly choreographed kung fu when he has Marshall Teague from Special Forces and the Old Man go out and find Casey at his civilian welding job to try and coax him back to lead the Seals on the most revenge and methane-filled mission of all time!

It turns out that after everything that went down with Ratliff, Casey quit the Seals and had a falling out with the surviving sister who he really cared about! So he retired for a life of peace where he could forget the past! By welding!

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Casey signs on as soon as hears that his old nemesis Ratliff is the object of the mission and sets off to assemble his team. One guy is still in the military, one is a religious freak working on a prison chain gang, one is a biker who doesn’t shave, and another is a killer for hire who hangs out at strip bars. And finally, the twin sister of the dead girl!

Marshall Teague also goes along with his special air gun that shoots acid pellets, but only has a range of 25 yards! And this movie is such a brawling bad boy that even when he’s within 25 yards, Marshall sometimes just uses the gun to whack people in the head!

The movie doesn’t skimp or let you down with its hand to hand action, sending an endless supply of Ratliff’s henchman against the Seals! Guys are flipping, spinning around, flying through the air, falling off rubble, getting sliced by swords and whacked by chains! One of Casey’s handpicked guys even turns traitor and Casey has to stick a skinny blade right through the guy’s forehead even as the guy is stabbing Casey with his own blade!

By the time the sprinkler system has gone off during the final confrontation between Casey and Ratliff that sees them running up walls and somersaulting through the air, I thought I had reached action nirvana! But then Casey went and was trying to run his sword straight up Ratliff’s crotch and wasn’t getting anywhere until the kung fu sister came and grabbed the other side of the sword and both she and Casey split that bastard in half! I screamed out loud in ecstasy! And there was still an escape in a mini sub and island to blow up! Turns out that the Seals’ motto was exactly right! No regrets! Just kick some ass!

© 2013 MonsterHunter

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