johnlink ranks NAVY SEALS (1990)

Seen my share of 90s action flicks, but I somehow never got around to this one. I think it was probably because of the generic VHS cover and the fact that even adolescent me didn’t think Charlie Sheen was much of an action hero. But this one hit HBO recently, so I figured I’d see if it had anything going for it.


I watched NAVY SEALS (1990) on 6.8.15. It was my first viewing of the film.

On the heels of TOP GUN, this NAVY SEALS movie is a clear attempt to take a formula which paid off a couple of years earlier and capitalize on that success. We meet a team of Seals led by Lt. Curran (Michael Biehn). His guys are his buddies and they include sniper Dane (Bill Paxton), the soon-to-be-married (and clearly soon to be dead) Graham (Dennis Haysbert), and the rebellious young buck Lt. Hawkins (Charlie Sheen).

The plot, which we barely care about, involves some Islamic terrorists and some missiles. A reporter (Joanne Whalley) is involved, supposedly, to be a source of information for Curran. But, really, she is there to create a romantic possibility for Curran and Hawkins to fight over before the movie forgets about her entirely. Because, really, this is a film which wants to hit as many TOP GUN notes as possible (with beach volleyball being replaced by an unnecessarily rowdy game of golf), but it is also a movie which can’t be bothered with really caring about the love story it feels obligated to include.

The action sequences in this are not terrible. This is an R-Rated film which earns the rating with a few surprisingly violent moments and a lot of action junkies swearing as they get shot at. The feeling is all very Hollywood, right down to the obvious studio stage locales. But there is enough fast driving, swimming, and shooting to make things interesting intermittently.

The film is missing a lot, though. The villain is forgettable and not at all menacing. The plot line involving the missiles feels majorly underwhelming after the 90s did such a great job of making up terrifying scenarios (even if those scenarios had very little to do with any sort of reality – I’m looking at you THE ROCK). Nothing about the movie feels authentic as it pertains to Navy Seals: they aren’t secretive, they aren’t particularly tough, and they don’t seem to have much of a regard for authority at any level. There may not be another movie which so obviously takes a real life group of people and hijacks their identity in order to try and make their heroes seem tougher. TOP GUN may not have been a bastion of reality, but at least those guys made us think they knew how to fly a plane.

NAVY SEALS is not a movie worth seeking out. It isn’t memorable and it isn’t particularly good. It’s not bad enough to qualify for a hate watch, and it is just entertaining enough every so often to keep you from shutting it off. It is an entirely average movie with no intangibles going for it whatsoever.




FINAL SCORE: 3.5 out of 10

~ by johnlink00 on June 8, 2015.

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