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Danger Zone

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Danger Zone

Starring: Billy Zane, Cary Hohoyuki Tagama
Director: Allan Eastman
Rated: R
RunTime: 92 Minutes
Release Date: January 1996
Genre: Action

*Also starring: Lisa Collins, Robert Downey Jr., Ron Silver

Review by Dragan Antulov
1½ stars out of 4

Africa has plenty of exotic locations, but American filmmakers have ignored it, especially in last few decades. It is hardly surprising that one of rare films that features American actors on African locations is actually Canadian. This is DANGER ZONE, 1996 action adventure directed by Allan Eastman.

Protagonist of the film is Rick Morgan (played by Billy Zane), American engineer who runs mining facility in East Zambezi, small African country ravaged by civil war. There he is visited by his old friend Jim (played by Robert Downey Jr.), shady mercenary type who just happens to have some toxic waste in his possession. Soon the facility is attacked by even shadier mercenary types led by Chang (played by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) and the toxic waste is spilled, resulting in ecological disaster. The blame is put on Rick who gets deported from the country. Later he is approached by Dupont (played by Ron Silver) and asked to return and track down part of toxic waste which is unaccounted for. Rick agrees and is joined by Kim (played by Lisa Collins), UN nuclear waste expert. Rick soon finds that the waste contains something which is quite precious to some powerful individuals and organisations.

DANGER ZONE stands out among low budget action movies because the screenplay by Jeff Albert and Danny Lerner finds time for some critical observations about present-day Africa and the role of corporate West in fueling civil wars, famine and other tragedies associated with Dark Continent. But this criticism is only superficial and actually hardly noticeable because of the plot filled with usual action movie cliches. Billy Zane, who co-produced the film, is quite relaxed in his role while director Allan Eastman tries to pay homage to INDIANA JONES movies. In the end, however, pyrotechnics takes over and the film is drowned by predictable conclusion. DANGER ZONE is at times good to watch, especially because of the exotic locations of post-apartheid South Africa, but the viewers are nevertheless left with the impression that the movie could have been much better.

Copyright 2003 Dragan Antulov

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