Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Movie review - "Sky Pirates" (1986) **

No one seems to have a kind word to say about this Oz 10BA Indiana Jones knock off but it's sheer existence is extremely winning. It was made by the producer-director combo of John D Lamond and Colin Eggleston, best known for soft core sex and horror movies, but they managed to raise a relatively healthy budget for this.

That's healthy in terms of Australian films - it suffers badly in comparison with Hollywood blockbusters... though not say Hollywood B films. Judged by the standards of Raiders knock offs it's fine, helped with cheerful performances from John Hargreaves and Max Phipps.

It starts quite well with Hargreaves and Phipps and Simon Chilvers going off on a mission to a Pacific Island.  This is great... but then all this stuff happens off screen, people go missing, and Hargreaves winds up back in Australia being court martialled, then escapes and heads off with Chilvers' daughter, Meredith Phipps to figure out what's going on.

The main problem with this film structure wise is the action keeps stopping and starting again - would've been a much more fun had the mission started and everything built from there. Them being on the run from the authorities has no real pay off or threat once they're going because the bulk of the action happens out in the isolated Pacific.

It's full of irritating holes - why is Phipps evil? Why have a silly Russian roulette scene? What is the Mysterious Power and why does it do what it does.

There's some good stunts and sets. Loved the photography and location work on Easter Island. It's full of tropes I love, like pilots and dingy bars in the third world. It's silly and over the top just a bit sloppy. People were too mean about this.

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