US, 1990, 92 minutes, Colour.
Ashley Brauner, Robert F. Lyons, Vernon Wells.
Directed by Robert J. Smawley.
American Eagle is one of the many derivatives from Rambo and the Chuck Norris Vietnam and post-Vietnam movies. This time the star and writer is Ashley Brauner. Robert F. Lyons is the only name star in the cast.
Australian Vernon Wells (Mad Max 2) is the villain.
The film opens in Vietnam, the Americans, war atrocities. It then moves to the late '80s with the CIA, covert activities and rescues in Angola and Nicaragua. The action then moves to the Ivory Coast (looking remarkably like California) and a whole range of politicking, double-dealing, which brings hero and villain into final confrontation with action-packed stunts. Characterisation is fairly minimal. The action and stunts and the plot are the main elements. The film also has some exploitation touches with some sex scenes and some violence. It is the kind of formula material which emerged during the latter part of the '80s from the US.
1. Interesting and entertaining action film? Vietnam, post-Vietnam, the CIA?
2. The world locations - and the California locations standing in? The credibility of the locations for the plot? Stunt work, action and effects? The musical score?
3. The title, the focus on the US, patriotism, the Vietnam War, the activities of the CIA? The cynicism and critique of the CIA in the '80s?
4. Max, the tough hero, work in Vietnam, the clash with Jack Bourke? His friendship with Rudy? The '80s, his relationship with Angela? His being on call by Edward? The rescue mission in Angola, the shootings and deaths? Nicaragua? The Angolan situation? Angela leaving him, his going to Africa? Angela leaving him, his going to Africa? Searching her out, her being kidnapped? His friendship with Rudy? Their teaming together? The confrontation with the police, with Richard and his political ambitions, with Manny and his violence? Confronting Jack Bourke? The action escapades? The siege of the house, Max as victim of the conspiracy - and, of course, his overcoming all difficulties? The American Eagle loner hero?
5. Jack Bourke as villain, his brutality in Vietnam? Clash with Max and Rudy? In Africa, his owning the stables, dealing with kidnapping women, white slave trade? His underlings? The plan with Richard, his being used, being used by Edward? The kidnap, the murders? The drugging of Angela? The meeting with Max, the skirmishes, the final battle and confrontation?
6. Edward, the CIA, plans, control? International intrigue? To what purpose? With Richard, the united Arab states?
7. Richard, political issues in Africa? In league with the CIA? Using Jack Bourke, using Max?
8. Angela, relationship with Rudy? Love for Max? Going to Africa, the kidnap, imprisonment? The final rescue? The other women and their capture, torture, brutality by Manny?
9. Rudy, his club, his black assistant? Clientele? Money, relationship with Angela, under surveillance? Friendship with Max? Their working together, strategies? The siege of the house, on the tower, being wounded?
10. Heroes and villains? Black and white? The portrait of Africa, of sleazy nightclubs? International politics and the CIA?