Bullet Points: Navy SEALS
I have a connection with the movie Navy SEALS. I actually saw it in theaters back in 1990. That would mean that I was only six years old standing in the back of the dark theater (I remember it was standing room only) eyes wide open and mouth agape, watching as Biehn, Sheen, Paxton and the boys put the American hammer down on some terrorist jerkoffs. If anything, this is a true testament to how great my taste in movies has been for my entire life. I remember seeing three different movies around this time 90-92 in theaters, Navy SEALS, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Last of the Mohicans. Let me remind you, I was barely 8 when the last one came out. I was one cool ass kid.
The Gist: A team of Navy SEALS comes across a warehouse full of American-made Stinger missiles while on a mission in Lebanon and unknowingly allows their leader to escape unharmed. Now, with the help from a beautiful journalist, they must find the militant leader and recover the missiles before they can be used against American interests.
The Cast: There aren’t many casts better than the one put together for Navy SEALS, that’s a fact. The first name appearing in the credits is Charlie Sheen but I still consider Michael Biehn the star of the film. Sheen’s character is as brash, cocky, and hilarious as he can be while Biehn’s character is the antithesis of that. He’s not quite boring, but his way of doing things is much more coordinated, making him appear more realistic compared to Sheen’s nutcase Hawkins. The team is filled out with guys from other 80’s flicks that you’ll recognize; Slider from Top Gun is there, Pedro Cerano from Major League is there, and one of my favorite actors of all time is there, Bill Paxton. Paxton deserves an award for being cast in so many great action films while never being the main guy. I think he is better as the supporting actor but it’s hard to say because he never got his big break as a leading man. The lovely Joanne Whalley-Kilmer plays the useful journalist who gives information to the SEAL team about the terrorist’s whereabouts. She’s a beauty, something the movie desperately needed, but her presence didn’t offer much else for the plot.
During the course of the film, they scuba, they HALO jump, and they most certainly blast their way out of some sticky situations.
The Villain: This one is very simple; the bad guys are Middle Eastern terrorists who have somehow gotten a hold of American Stinger missiles and are intent on using them. We do hear the name of the leader of the group, Shaheed, but why he’s doing what he’s doing or how bad of a guy he actually is, is up to your imagination. We can assume they aren’t the best of people because they do attack a helicopter en route to rescue some people from a burning ship and not only take the crew hostage but also execute one of them. They are also the perfect cannon fodder for our SEAL team to take out with zero collateral damage involved (you know, cause they’re not white so who cares what happens to the civilians in the town). I will say that if this movie could improve in a big way it would have been with a better villain.
Look! It’s just another nameless, faceless Muslim terrorist.
The Action: People can say that this movie lacks in certain areas, and I’ve even read that Michael Biehn wasn’t a fan of the script or story, but no one can ever take away from how good the action is. If you need a reason to trusting Rotten Tomatoes on their ratings then just look at the 19% they gave Navy SEALS and you’ll have your reason. I’ve always thought that any site which just takes an average of a bunch of idiots picking numbers is dumb as hell anyways. I rate movies all the time, but that is because I have excellent taste in films. You may have different tastes so it would behoove you to seek out other reviewers if you don’t like my shit. There, now that’s out of the way, let’s get back to the movie. Charlie Sheen jumps off a bridge from a moving vehicle to avoid going to a wedding. That is a great scene that I totally forgot about and hilariously shows that this movie was written by men and not a woman. The wedding eventually gets interrupted and called off, much to the delight of all the men who leave hooting and hollering, as men do. Most of these scenes only draw the characters closer together as brothers. They drink together, they play golf together, and they die together. If you ask me the writers got this part right.
The action is great and it never stops. Think of Delta Force but only the last 3rd of it.
Take it Home:
- Call my editor: I could write a book on how much I love Bill Paxton as an actor.
- Music: Only in the 80’s would there be a chase scene with a guy on a bike and a song called ‘Strike like Lightning’ playing. I know this came out in 1990 but it’s still an 80’s movie.
- Real Talk: In an interview, Michael Biehn stated that working on this film was “probably the worst experience of my life.”
- Favorite quote: “Nobody talks about mom.”
- Never leave a man behind: My biggest issue with this movie has always been that the team doesn’t carry all of their dead out of the kill zone and back to the rear. No real SEAL would leave his dead comrades on the battlefield.