Avenging Force (1986)

There are powerful men intent on perverting all the United States holds dear! Powerful men who would stop at nothing to achieve their own deranged agenda! And it’s not just Democrats either! There is also the Pentangle!

If you’re like me, when you weren’t wiping wuss-sweat off of your brow from the sheer terror you felt when you heard about the Pentangle you were also rushing to your dictionary to see exactly what the Pentangle meant.

Thankfully though, you won’t be forced to hit pause and break the action spell that Avenging Force deftly weaves for every single one of its 105 minutes because a character helpfully explains that the Pentangle is a five pointed star. Each point represents one of the five secret leaders of the Pentangle!

And the Avenging Force? That’s one guy. Name of Dudikoff. Ex-Secret Service. Best there ever was. G-6 rating. Quit the Service after his parents were killed by a terrorist bomb. Raising his little sister on his ranch. Just a cowpoke roping calves, driving pick ups, and rocking the biggest assed belt buckles west of the Pecos. Until the Pentangle comes a calling.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans! The biggest party of the year! An unceasing stream of debauchery, revelry, and alternative lifestyles! Guys peeing in the streets! Gals flashing their dirty pillows for free beads! (Not portrayed in this film – good clean violence is the order of the day here, not filthy stuff!) And an assassination attempt on a black candidate for the U.S. Senate!

Dudikoff’s old friend, Steve James (American Ninja) is running for Senate and has been the target of some threats. He and his family are in the parade to promote his candidacy with Dudikoff along for the ride when the Pentangle strikes!

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Though Dudikoff (Chain of Command) sniffs out the assassination attempt and dispatches an army of gunmen, one of Steve’s sons is mortally wounded! Steve immediately swears vengeance with Dudikoff eagerly signing up for some of that, too!

A phone call, purportedly from the media wanting an interview at the old, abandoned scrap yard across town, is quickly sussed out by Steve and Dudikoff as just a trap set by the killers! And just as quickly, Steve and Dudikoff decide that a trap set by the killers is just what they need to go after the killers! A mega car chase ensues, complete with pointless ramp jump!

The thing you have to understand about Avenging Force is that it will test the mettle of every action movie fan.

Are you used to action movies where characters take time out between ass kickings to reflect on their haunted pasts or their uncertain futures? Do you like it when your action hero has very human doubts about his ability to succeed? Is your action movie experience incomplete without scenes of characters planning assaults, investigating leads, or going through a training montage? (I love training montages, but that’s just screen time NOT devoted to breaking guys’ necks and kicking them in the balls!)

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If you need all those frilly lace trimmings with your action movies, you may as well go back to sitting in your parlor with the rest of the grannies while us real men mainline our action with Avenging Force!

Avenging Force goes from one action set piece to another with nary a moment for even the most hyperactive fan to squirm! After the car chase, you’ve got hand to hand combat on the docks, an attack on Dudikoff’s ranch, a brawl in the bayou, and a showdown in a mansion! There was so much frigging action in this movie that Dudikoff only managed to uncover and kill four of the five members of the Pentangle before the movie ran out!

Merely cataloging the various adrenaline rushes the movie parades by in rapid fire fashion doesn’t really do them justice. Director Sam Firstenberg gave us Revenge of the Ninja, Ninja III:The Domination and American Ninja, so he obviously knows how to go that extra mile to really make an action sequence crackle with nipple-hardening authority.

Showdown at the docks? Dudikoff uses his belt to strangle a guy and to slide down a wire! The bayou brawl? All the killers after Dudikoff wear some kind of crazy mask! Final battle in the mansion? It takes place in the Great Hall which is where the main bad guy stores his ancient weapons collection!

The reason behind all this mayhem is almost irrelevant, but even that adds to Avenging Force‘s status as Best Dudikoff Ever! The Pentangle is concerned about America’s future. They see that an economic collapse is coming with riots in the streets and druggies running rampant!

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They also hate all the Communists who are taking over! And all the Mexicans! And all the blacks! And by the time the leader of the Pentangle is spewing out his “Hitler was right” speech, you’re practically licking your chops at the prospect of Dudikoff rolling into the Great Hall and impaling this vile bastard on one of his really sharp antiques!

I was way too jacked up by all that avenging that Dudikoff kept having to do to worry about the fact that everything the Pentangle did, didn’t make a bit of sense! How was killing a senate candidate going to solve the problem of the millions of minorities, druggies, and commies that were ruining this country and prevent economic collapse?

And what did the Pentangle’s obsession with hunting people down in the swamps have to do with advancing their extreme right wing agenda? If you are a lunatic fringe group, pick your lunatic fringe and focus on it!

Avenging Force is great, but it isn’t for sissies. There’s a scene of Dudikoff and a kid falling about three stories to the ground that looked so brutal that when the bad guys gunned the kid down after he landed, I figured they were just putting him out of his misery!

And when the bad guys kidnap Dudikoff’s sister, they plan on auctioning her off at some mutant Cajun hoedown in the swamp! Dudikoff’s grandpa even gets blown up by a bomb! Frankly, there’s so much avenging that needs to be done, you’ll need to see it more than once!

© 2013 MonsterHunter

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