Friday, February 10, 2017

Airboss 4: Eco Warrior (2000)

Could the world have gotten along well without Airboss 4: Eco Warrior? We’ll never know. What we do know is by this point, the filmmakers had completely given up trying to create a story that lasts the full length of a film. Just throw a few things together, that seems to be the strategy with this one. By the way, the movie is also known as Airboss IV: The X Factor, which is the title on the DVD case. The title during the opening credits is Airboss: Eco Warrior, and the title at the end is Airboss 4: Eco Warrior. Whatever you call it, it’s the final movie in this incredibly shitty series. Amen.

Well, Frank White, Webb Buckley and the others are out in the woods, training. Why are those two FBI agents running exercises with them? Seems odd. Didn’t they finish that mission (or, actually, three missions) from the previous film? Wouldn’t they be back to their regular assignments? Or are they now just permanently assigned to work with Frank and Webb? Well, whatever. They’re working on a training exercise that simulates a hostage situation, and for some reason they’ll be in the woods for a week. Wait, isn’t Frank the Airboss? Shouldn’t he just fly over the woods?

Frank tells the others: “We’re less than a mile from our objective. Here’s the plan. We’re going to lie low and wait.” Wait for that last mile to come to you? How does remaining a mile from one’s objective allow one to meet that objective? Dumb fucking plan, Frank. But soon they’re being shot at with real bullets, and Frank is captured by some weird Russian guy and a Korean chick who want to test some new interrogation techniques on him. Sounds fun. Except it’s not, at least not for us. The Asian chick starts asking him about old missions, and so we start getting little flashbacks to things that just don’t matter.

Meanwhile, Murphy and Daniels huddle in the woods and talk about their own past experiences. Hey, wait, that chick isn’t Daniels. Now she’s someone named Whitney. Where is Daniels? Who made the switch? I guess it doesn’t matter. Nothing really matters in this movie. This one is particularly boring, with Frank telling the Asian chick stories of no consequence for reasons that are unclear. And what’s Webb up to? Well, after getting shot, he stumbles upon a cabin owned by a couple of hicks and enters a drinking contest with them. Did someone actually plan this movie out, or did these guys just grab a video camera and go out into the woods with a few costumes and a case of beer?

Anyway, Murphy and the new Daniels run into Mr. Bernard, a man whose wife Murphy killed by mistake years earlier. Mr. Bernard and his men decide to help Murphy and Faux Daniels find Frank. And soon Webb and a military team join them. But what is it the Russian guy hopes to gain from Frank’s capture anyway? After he becomes aware that he’s lost a patrol, he tells the Asian girl he wants results, but what precisely does he want? How can a drugged up Frank help him find his missing patrol? Again, it doesn’t seem like the filmmakers had any idea what they were doing. And guess what? Frank is rescued less than halfway through the film, and it seems like both the Russian guy and the Korean chick escape. Will we see them again? Will they play a significant role in the rest of the film? No, not at all. They are never again seen, or even mentioned.


So Frank goes back to training pilots. Airboss is back in the air. But only briefly. Then he goes on vacation. This movie is a mess. So basically the film starts all over with a different plot, having completely abandoned the one about the Russian guy in the woods. Now the daughter of Frank’s commanding officer has run away and joined the crew of a boat called Eco Warrior. (Now we’re getting somewhere; after all, this is mentioned in the title. Well, one of the titles.) Frank is ordered to also join the crew of the boat to watch out for this daughter. Frank flirts with some other girl on the boat, and there’s a musical montage of them spending time together. And Tammy – that’s the daughter – is attracted to Frank too. Is the movie becoming a romantic comedy? There is also a plot involving a duplicitous company and hazardous waste, but don’t worry, nothing will come of that plot either.

Things start going wrong on the boat. A guy runs into Frank’s room, saying: “Frank, you gotta come quick. The radio’s been sabotaged. The engine’s been sabotaged. And Joey’s dead, man.” Hmm. I would have led with that last bit. In fact, he told things in the exact opposite order of importance. Come quick, the radio’s broken? Fucking hell. Then the movie becomes a whodunit on the boat. There is a cute moment when Frank flips a coin to decide which wire to cut to defuse a bomb. But wait, what about the company? It gets away with its evil plan apparently. And what about the Russian guy and Asian girl? They were never caught? What exactly happens in this movie? Nothing, that’s what. Nothing at all.

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