Saturday, October 6, 2012

No Reason to Watch: "No Time to Die" (1984)

There's also no time to make a decent film.

John Phillip Law continues to assault and violate his film career, shooting this stupid German-Indonesian action monstrosity.

Law plays Ted, a wild and crazy guy awaiting an assignment in Jakarta, Indonesia. He spots pretty reporter Judy (Grazyna Dylong), and pursues. She is hot on a story involving a local company's development of a laser cannon. A competing company hires state department suit Jack Gull (a sad Christopher Mitchum) to steal the plans...or something, my mind started to wander. Ted gets the call to drive the laser cannon to a mine for a test, and is accompanied by the corporation's vice-president Martin (Horst Janson).

Gull hires Jan van Cleef (Francis Glutton) to hijack the cannon. It helps that Jan has a personal vendetta against Ted. After watching this film, I have a personal vendetta against anyone involved in its production. The laser cannon truck hits the road with Ted, Martin, and some young guy whose name sounded like "Retinol." He is killed right away, so it doesn't matter. Jan and his goons never seem to be able to stop the truck, despite automatic firepower and land mines. Judy is helicoptered in and travels with Ted and Martin, who now must reach a local mine because some miners and Martin's brother are trapped, and they need the cannon to get them out! Will the truck make it in time!?!

The biggest problem with this film is its dubbing. With all of these nationalities trying to carry on conversations in English, it is very hard to understand anybody. Ted's last name is Barner, according to the end credits, but I swear I heard "Marshall" and "Farmer" bandied about. I wrote down "Horst" when I first heard Martin's last name, and "Jan" is pronounced "John." Gull became "Gall."

The action is okay for a B flick, but Jan and his henchmen carry off what amounts to the longest truck pursuit ever put on film. It literally takes days to catch up to it. The laser cannon, when finally unveiled, looks like a giant hair dryer, and the special effects probably cost just as much.

At different times, you have to ask the question: why does a giant multinational corporation trust its biggest project to just three yahoos driving a truck on the bumpy Indonesian highways? The cast often refer to Ted's handy bottle of whiskey he sucks on as "his milk." This isn't funny the first time you hear it, and it ain't funny the fourth time you hear it, either.

"No Time to Die" is a quickie flick made to cash in on the video boom of the mid-80's. While there may be no time to die, just make no time to watch. (*) out of five stars.