Kotcheff's film may look like a none too subtle piece of wish fulfilment, but is in fact grounded in one of the many painful emotional outcomes of the Vietnam war. Hackman is haunted by his son's fate - MIA (missing in action) - and so assembles a team of the usual veterans: the jock, the pilot, the war-junkie, the Tai Chi freak, and the one who can't sleep at nights. They then undergo the classic 'mission movie' format: first they train in a model camp, then they do it for real, where nothing goes as planned and acts of uncommon valour are called for. After North Dallas Forty and First Blood, Kotcheff seems to be moving into the action picture arena, and he acquits himself admirably with the more strenuous details of firefighting. CPea.
Cast and crew
Randall 'Tex' Cobb