American Force 2: The Untouchable Glory (1987)

Directed by: Phillip Ko
Written by: Godfrey Ho
Producers: Joseph Lai & Betty Chan
Starring: Pierre Kirby, Patrick Frzebear, Rafale Martine, Timothy Macdonell, Renato Sala, John Whitney & Robert Zwanziger

Vietnam veteran and one man killing machine (when not with his trusted partner White Tiger) Ryan O'Reilley (Pierre Kirby) is hired to help protect a village from the Russians establishing a missile base there. Main target being Kaprov whose man Orson is leading the charge in establishing a stronghold in the region. Ex-cop Domino is Ryan's man on the ground though who leads the rebellion to end tyranny.

Ryan Vs Kaprov and Orson vs Domino. Separate threads. Separate movies, with the former being IFD's newly shot plot to be inserted into an older action movie from the Philippines and boom, American Force 2: The Untouchable Glory was shot onto the international market. Another entry to argue that IFD's switch back to modern action and thrillers after ninjas had done their thing was just dull and dry.

While Kirby continues to demonstrate that he's one of the best leading men and action heroes IFD were blessed with, it's a decidedly straight and subdued down hero here, with none of the wise cracking established in his ninja outings. It doesn't seriously hurt this part of the movie as Kirby moves very swiftly and is shot and edited in such a way that it really does show some decent Hong Kong action energy here. The structure of his sporadically inserted footage will be familiar to anyone who's seen a ninja movie or two and therefore these gunplay- and martial arts sequences are merely short. But quality for the short time they occupy the frame.

Otherwise the majority of the frame is spent with the re-structured plot of the source movie. Armed with a very low budget and a couple of village bound, outdoor locations, this is not realism and grit that translates to violent action effect. In fact it's pretty pathetic and amateurish as shot and while the aim might've been generic as a springboard for bloody mayhem, there's no talent here to make that leap come true. A couple of slow motion sequences during the river attack are more skillfully shot but this stretch of footage makes you seriously long for Kirby running around shooting guns and kicking ass.

Not that Phillip Ko's direction is off the charts wild and creative (the dialogue sequences in particular are moving in slow motion, making one think talking slower was Ko's way of arguing everyone is now Russian) but at least some sparks are there. Culminating in an action finale for once away from the backwoods as this takes place in a boat harbour where the crew sets off pyrotechnics and well loaded squibs for a couple of minutes. American Force 2: The Untouchable Glory doesn't change the fact that the cut and paste formula after ninjas was stale and Pierre Kirby doesn't quite bail out Philip Ko and company.


reviewed by Kenneth Brorsson