Movie Kumite: The Base vs. The Base 2: Guilty as Charged
Director Mark L. Lester will forever be associated with a true action classic in 1985’s Commando starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
But Lester continued to contribute to the action entertainment genre long after Commando was released. Some other Lester directed action flicks include Extreme Justice, Showdown in Little Tokyo and the two movies that will battle in our latest Movie Kumite, The Base and The Base 2: Guilty as Charged.
The undercover adventures of top soldier, John Murphy, play out in 1999’s The Base and its TV movie sequel, The Base 2: Guilty as Charged, that premiered the following year.
Which of these Mark L. Lester films will win our cinematic slugfest known as the Movie Kumite? Let’s find out…
The Base stars Mark Dacascos in the role of John Murphy, however Dacascos did not return for The Base 2: Guilty as Charged and the role of John Murphy went to Antonio Sabato Jr.
So, who was the better John Murphy?
In general I would rank Mark Dacascos above Antonio Sabato Jr. on the action movie food chain, if for no other reason than Dacascos’ superior fighting skills and the other reason being he starred in the amazing Only the Strong. But I think The Base was actually one of Dacascos’ lesser films.
On the flip side, I believe The Base 2 was actually one of the better action flicks I’ve seen Antonio Sabato Jr. in, so I was very close to giving this round to Antonio.
However, when Dacascos starred as John Murphy the character would continue on (even though Dacascos himself didn’t play him). After Antonio Sabato Jr. played the character, he nor anyone else was asked to reprise the role.
So with that said I am giving the point to Mark Dacascos.
THE BASE – 1 THE BASE 2 – 0
Another really close race when comparing the villains from The Base to The Base 2: Guilty as Charged.
Tim Abell stars opposite of Mark Dacascos in The Base (the two were also foes in 2001’s Instinct to Kill). Abell’s Sgt. Gammon abuses his power and gets in the cocaine business. Gammon is an easy character to dislike and Abell delivers a solid performance.
James Remar plays the fanatical Lt. Col. Strauss in The Base 2. Strauss appoints himself the head of a tribunal that judges and executes those they feel need to be punished for their crimes. Remar excels at playing characters with a bit of a dark side (check him out in Blowback with Mario Van Peebles) and he brings that darkside to the Strauss character.
The big difference between the Strauss and the Gammon characters is Gammon knows what he is doing is wrong, he just doesn’t care and is in it for the money. Strauss actually believes the horrible things that he is doing are right and that to me puts him a notch or two above Gammon on the evil scale.
THE BASE – 1 THE BASE 2 – 1
When you have a movie called The Base, to me it would imply that most of the movie would revolve around a military base. But I felt like the first movie could have just as easily been called The Cheap Motel, because it felt like more of the action and story development took place away from the actual military base that the characters are stationed at. Which is something you’d expect if they had made a The Base 4 or The Base 5, but the very first movie?!
The Base 2 gets it right and, I’d say 90% of the story unfolded on the actual military base where the characters were stationed.
And The Base 2 takes the lead…
THE BASE – 1 THE BASE 2 – 2
Time to dust off the ol’ Movie Kumite rulebook and call out The Base 2 for its alternate title.
When it first aired on television the title of the movie was simply Guilty as Charged (This is also how the movie is listed on IMDb). Later when it was released on DVD it was known as either The Base II or The Base 2: Guilty as Charged.
The Base 2 gets a point taken away and we are all tied up again.
THE BASE – 1 THE BASE 2 – 1
Can two of the most respected movie web sites help resolve this stalemate?
The Base has an IMDb rating of 4.6, narrowly edging out The Base 2′s 4.4 rating.
The Base 2 has a 18% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while The Base has a 24% approval rating.
Personally, I enjoyed The Base 2 more than I did The Base and I’m a huge Mark Dacascos fan, but the critics have spoken…
FINAL SCORE: THE BASE – 3 THE BASE 2 – 1