Code Name: Wild Geese

Film

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Time Out says

Fri Nov 16 2012

In the ’70s and ’80s, alongside a slew of spaghetti Westerns and giallo thrillers, Italy’s exploitation boom also threw up a series of low-budget, high-body-count action and crime flicks riffing on recent Hollywood successes. This 1984 Italian/German co-production was filmed in the Philippines and directed by cinematic ambulance chaser Antonio Margheriti (aka Anthony M. Dawson). ‘Inspired’ by crusty British colonial romp ‘The Wild Geese’, the film sees perennial nearly-man Lewis Collins bringing the tropic thunder as he leads a group of ‘mercenaries’ on a mission to destroy the opium factories of south-east Asia.

The none-more-sweaty supporting cast of Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine and Klaus Kinski – here dubbed with a curiously foppish cut-glass English accent – make for a welcome distraction from the by-the-numbers jungle combat. Collins himself makes for a solid lead, even if his cropped hair, pronounced cheekbones and cream blouson do make him look like an off-duty Action Man figure. It’s never more than competent, but it’s worth sticking with until at least the 20-minute mark, if only to marvel at the filmmakers’ mendacity in rendering a high-speed car chase with miniatures that look like they were on the shelf of a toy shop that very morning.
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Release details

UK release:

1984

Duration:

101 mins

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