Operation Delta Force IV: Deep Fault
Starring: Gregory Collins, Joe Lara, John Laughlin
Directed by: Mark Roper
The Story: The Inferno loves these Operation Delta Movies. They may be low on plot, reality and characterization, but they usually have a lot of action. This one certainly did. It had little of anything else, but when I sat down in my Infernal Inner sanctum to watch it I didn't really expect much more than that.
The opening of the movie has really nothing to do with anything else that happens....except to introduce the characters and show some people getting shot up. Delta Force, led by Captain Skip Lang rescues so American Hostages captured by evil Yugoslavia soldiers. (I thought Yugoslavia didn't exist anymore? I could be wrong about that. However, I did hear the evil bad guy general mention Yugoslavia) Though Lang wants the evil guy, Gravik, captured, as per his orders, Sergeant "Mac" McKinney shoots him stone dead. Delta Force then hurries the hostages to a waiting UN helicopter (that's unguarded in hostile territory!) all the while gunning down bad guy reinforcements. Its hilarious to see the reinforcements running on foot towards the hostage location from the surrounding forest. What were these guys doing out there, building snowmen? Anyway, one of the hostages is Dr. Walter Hill, a seismologist.
Back in the US Lang has a talk with Mac. This is where we're supposed to get the idea that Mac is a reckless sort of guy, the loose cannon of the group. You know, kind of like Charlie Sheen in Navy SEALs. Only I guess they didn't want to make it that obvious since Lang tells Mac he needs to get his "fear" back. Uh, wouldn't you want a commando to be fearless? I'd rather have him not scared of dying that much, considering his job is to face dangerous situations all of the time. While Mac and Lang talk we get to meet two other Delta members....Vickers and Hutch. As I said before, these movies don't spend a lot of time in characterization. The only thing I really learned from this part was that Vickers was gonna die. He mentioned his girlfriend and all that to Hutch, so in B-Movie lingo that means "I'm going to die before the movie is over".
Meanwhile we meet Dr. Hill again as he sees some strange readings after a small tremor in San Diego. Don't even worry about the clues he zooms in on, since by the end of the movie you'll be wondering how the tremor readings he examined had anything to do with the Evil Plot or how or why the villain caused them. Suffice it to say that Hill decides to go public with his discovery, even though his assistant Dr. Samuels warns him that he is sworn to secrecy about a Project called Zeus. Hill has a press conference and before he can tell anything is killed by a weapon hidden in one of the microphones. At the conference, is a former coworker of his named Laurie. I forgot her last name, and she's credited only as "Laurie" at the end. It doesn't matter much , just accept the fact that she worked on Project Zeus too. This event makes Admiral Henshaw nervous. I don't know if he's supposed to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs or anything but for some reason, he's the one in charge of Delta Force. I wish someone would tell me why the Army's Delta Force is under the command of a Navy Admiral instead of an Army General. I can only guess that there wasn't enough cash in the flick's budget to rent an Army General Uniform. Henshaw orders Delta Force to stop a shipment of plutonium from being delivered to a rogue scientist named Garcia. Garcia is a Cuban American and headed up Project Zeus. When the project was terminated before completion, Garcia was really pissed off. Lang isn't told what Zeus is, only that he has to stop the shipment. The plutonium is being delivered from eastern Europe since according to the movie, the fall of the Soviet Union left a whole bunch of weapons grade plutonium around.
Time for more action! The Delta Force run around Turkmenistan, or someplace called something like that (did they make up this country is does it really exist? It doesn't matter really, I just wanted to know....of course I don't want to know badly enough to check for myself. I guess it must since my spell checker corrected my garbled spelling of it. Addendum: I looked it up. Turkmenistan does exist.) trying to stop this shipment and killing bad guys. When the Deltas break into a bad guy hideout they start blasting everyone. Mac dares one of the bad guys to shoot him and even puts his weapon down while the guy reloads his rifle. Lang, seeing this runs over and caps the guy. Then when they question a surviving bad guy, Mac gets pissed and sticks a knife in the guy's knee, torturing him into spilling the beans. The other Delta Force members are disgusted by Mac's tactics (not enough to stop him I noticed) but I'm amazed at Lang. Lets go through what Mac has done so far. ONE: He disobeyed a direct order and shot Gravik. TWO: He risked his own life and the team by playing around with an armed and dangerous enemy...during a fire fight! THREE: He just tortured a guy in front of everyone....which by the way led to the poor schmuck's death.
Still, we aren't done with the action yet! Donning skis, the Delta Force goes after two trucks they see leaving the hideout. Bad Guys with snowmobiles give chase, allowing us to see the wily Delta Force make mincemeat out of them. However, the now-dead-snowmobile-bad-guys held up our heroes long enough for them to lose sight of the trucks. Not knowing whether the plutonium is being delivered by air or rail, the delta's split up. Lang and Mac go after the truck heading for the airport and Hutch, Vickers and Doc go after the one headed for the train station. Lotsa stuff gets trashed in a fierce gunfight in the city when the bad guys try and kill Vickers, Hutch and Doc. A street car is demolished and our heroes survive unscratched. They make it to the train where they kill even more guys only to discover the train was the decoy! The cars are empty. During this part we have the scene where a big ass muscle guy fights one of the guys. (I don't know if it was Doc or Hutch...it wasn't Vickers) I don't know why that part struck me so much...I think it was because the guy was sitting outside eating a bowl of soup in a thin T-shirt. Now, my guess is its cold outside since there's like, snow all over the place and everyone else has a jacket on. I wondered why the big muscle guy was eating soup outside at the rail yard with only a T-shirt on. Oh, well, who cares. Its not like the movie gets any more sensible.
Lang and Mac also get into a big fire fight trying to stop the other truck. The bad guys though, have a tank! Despite the fact that they have a tank though, Lang and Mac win the fire fight and take control of the tank! But a helicopter comes by and sling loads the trucks container of plutonium. You know, there's a good chance Mac and Lang could have stopped this if they didn't get out of the tank. They could have shot the slow moving helicopter down with it. But we still don't know what Zeus is, so lets keep moving. By the way, you'll probably guess what Project Zeus is by this point in the movie, but your brain will reject the idea for being so ridiculous.
Back in the US Admiral Henshaw talks with Laurie. When Project Zeus was going on he had something to do with it and knows her. He tells her that Garcia may be trying to resurrect it and that Dr. Samuels has disappeared. Laurie dismisses this and leaves. I guess that part was to remind us that Laurie exists. We won't be seeing her again till near the end of the movie.
When the Delta Force returns Captain Lang goes to see Henshaw. He's pissed off because they were sent on a mission without proper intelligence and he still doesn't know what's going on! Henshaw confides this in him....the Admiral is acting on his own authority in this mission. Why? I don't know...you'd think that stopping someone from getting usable plutonium for some horrible scheme would be something the Department of Defense would like to know about. Henshaw tells Lang that Garcia is set up on a remote pacific island and that he's got to stop him before he unleashes Zeus. For this mission he sends Laurie with the Delta Force. Why? Because she worked on Zeus and knows the island. Yeah, I know its stupid, but they needed a reason to send the girl. Its funny because you could cut Laurie out of the movie and it wouldn't really make a difference. Anyway, the Deltas go on this mission where Laurie finally tells them what Project Zeus is:
Wait for it.
Wait for it.
Project Zeus is...and lordy, this is so stupid....a nuclear missile aimed at an underground shaft. the idea is to cause earthquakes by blasting the san Andréa's fault underground. Now, would someone please tell me what the hell use is that? Not only is the San Andreas Fault US territory, what possible good could come up from causing earthquakes? When Laurie tells the Force that the project was to see if nukes could be used to create quakes which made me think "Hell, that's like wondering if a match can be used to burn a house down. Why would you want to even try it?". Now that we're in Garcia's lair Laurie sneaks off from the Delta's to confront him. (why did they bring this civilian along again? I mean, they don't need her to kill some bad guys and it sure didn't look like they needed help in getting to the island) She tells him that she knows he's upset that Zeus was canned because it was his life's work. (His life's work was to make earthquakes? I thought my life was crappy! This guy is a real fruitcake!) The Delta's find Samuels whom they tell to skedaddle while they try and stop the nuke. Samuels idea of getting out of there though is to confront Garcia who then shoots him. Like we didn't expect that. The Delta's presence is now known and Garcia has a surprisingly large amount of men at his disposal. The Delta's start mowing them down, but are pinned down eventually by some soldiers with machine guns. That's when Vickers decides to sacrifice himself to get the Delta force through this impasse. you see, if Garcia's plan works California will be destroyed and his girlfriend will die. Hey, we all knew he was toast from way back in the movie. What's really surprising is that despite being hit by machine gun fire about 500 hundred times Vickers manages to stagger and crawl about 20 meters towards the bad guys and toss his grenades! You know, if the bad guys thought about just shooting him in the head ten meters back, his sacrifice would have been in vain! (And the Delta Force would be killed when his dead hands let go of the grenade triggers...he'd already pulled the pins out! With his TEETH!)
The Delta Force gets whittled down a bit trying to get to the missile before the countdown ends. Lang lowers Mac down a shaft to the missile to disarm it. Garcia shows up and starts shooting at Lang. For a long time. A really long time. This is where the "cut the wire" scene happens. Its not tense, its just frustrating. Mac had about TEN freaking minutes to cut one wire! Meanwhile Garcia is making Swiss cheese out of Lang. Luckily, Hutch arrives and blows a hole in Garcia's head. So much for him. Mac cuts the one wire he needed to cut 3 seconds before its too late (at least they didn't do the old one second thing) and the day is saved. Unfortunately Lang dies of his wounds. The final scene is showing US forces making a landing on the island and cleaning up. Which makes you wonder why they didn't send this large amphibious force there in the first place. AAAARGH!
Ok, it was a silly MacGuffin, Project Zeus. Its the kind of thing that Dr. Doom wouldn't have done even back in an old '60's Fantastic Four comic book. Heck, Cobra Commander would laugh that plan off in his fight with GI Joe! But there is a lot of shoot 'em action. I think the movie could have been a little better off if they left the whole "Mac sees the light at the end of the movie". Yeah, Mac starts crying that he's scared just before he cuts the wire and that he's got his fear back. The problem is that Mac wasn't rounded out as a character at all so no one watching this will care. That and the fact that he had way more than enough time to cut the yellow wire before Lang got smoked. Yeesh, he could have just cut all the wires!
Gregory Collins was Captain Lang. I can't remember which one, but he was in an earlier Operation Delta Force Movie as a different character. If I remember correctly though, Captain Skip Lang was played by someone else in an earlier movie too. Joe Lara was Mac. He appeared as a South African terrorist in the first Operation Delta Force Movie. (Maybe it was the second, but I know he was in it.)
Best Lines: “It was that kind of intelligence that bought us there with our dick in our hand and they came out with TANKS! We should be dead!” - Lang complains to Admiral Henshaw about his crappy intelligence.
Are you kidding me?
1.) Its a good thing the Delta Force is so good. No matter how they fire their weapons they hit the bad guys. The bad guys on the other hand must have enlisted the local school for the sight impaired as soldiers. These guys don't hit a damned thing with automatic weapons fire even when it would be nigh impossible for them to miss!
2.) How can the doctor look at the records from the last ten or so tremors and then say "This isn't right! They're all the same!" and expect us to take it seriously. I say that because if you look at the sheet he's reading there's about TEN different readings that are ALL THE SAME! This guy is a top seismologist? You can look at the first three and see they're all the friggin' same! He has to have a dozen or so in front of him to make that determination?
3.) Funk Dat! Mac would be getting a one way ticket to the psych ward at Walter Reed after his "reload" stunt with the rifle toting bad guy and his stab and torture treatment of the prisoner. What does he have to do to convince Lang that he's off his rocker? Wear a suit made of dynamite while smoking a cigar?
4.) So maybe Delta Force guys wear black t shirts under their BDUs instead of the usual Army brown t shirts...but it doesn't explain why Mac has infantry officer insignia on his right collar when he's been referred to as SERGEANT. Its hard to make out but you can see that Mac has sergeant insignia on the left collar, but its still wrong. Enlisted soldiers don't have branch insignia on BDU's. Officers do. Also, not that Lang doesn't have a nametag on his BDU's. This guy is an Officer?
5.) I KNEW IT! During the streetcar shootout the Delta Force guys magically produce rifles when they weren't carrying them before...(and don't tell me those Eastern European soldiers were carrying loaded weapons on a streetcar while drinking vodka...I ain't buyin' it.) but when I saw that they did have these weapons I said to myself "They'd better not leave those weapons when they flee the streetcar!" and they did! Good choice guys! Leave your best weapons behind when a seemingly limitless amount of enemy soldiers are shooting at you!
6.) Yeah, its a good thing they took Laurie with them on this mission. She sure came in handy. They might never have killed those three guys she fired blindly at.
Nudity and Sex: Nada....Why was Laurie in this movie again?
Why did that guy fall off of his snowmobile when Lang is chasing him?
I toldja the tremors that Dr. Hill detected would have no explanation or relevance to the rest of the plot. What the deuce was that about?
Why is the Army's Delta Force taking orders from a Navy Admiral?
Wanna know how to instantly date a movie like this? Look at Henshaw's office. there's a big ass picture of then Vice-President Al Gore on the wall.
The biggest "Huh" is why in the world would the government fund a project that has the ultimate goal of causing the greatest Earthquake of all time in America? And why did Garcia make it his life's work!? Lex Luthor at least had greed on his plan to set off the San Andreas Fault in Superman. Garcia's reason is....I don't know...he's just crazy! And if he's that crazy how'd he get all of these guys to work for him? Its hinted at, barely that he's doing it for Cuba, since he's Cuban American. Uh, does Castro know about this plot? And even if he did how does this do anything for Cuba? Its not like Cuba is even close to being a world power.
The Final Judgment: Despite the jaw dropping Evil Plot, I liked watching this. The action scenes were pretty good. The movie was hokey enough and silly enough to be entertaining in a great crappy-movie kind of way. If you're just looking for an action flick and not hoping for things like common sense to come into play, this might be good one for ya. I just hope they make another one of these flicks. I could use the laugh.