Monday, April 1, 2013

Silencers (1996)

Silencers poster 

Tagline:

The government denied they exist. But the Men in Black are here... 

Movie Review:

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Jack Scalia plays Agent Rafferty, a Secret Service agent tasked with protecting a Senator. He fails in this task when a group of strange Men In Black terrorists manage to eliminate their target, however, all is not normal with these terrorists. Meanwhile a group of scientists at the Phoenix corporation are working on creating a dimensional portal between our world and an alien world, overseen by the same Men in Black that killed the senator - the leader being an alien called Lekin (Carlos Lauchu, Anubis in the Stargate film) who looks a lot like Skrillex with those black-rimmed glasses. Coming unexpected through the activated portal is another alien, Comdor (Dennis Christopher, Fade to Black, Circuitry Man II, Alien Predator) who is here to close the portal and rid Earth of the silently-colonising Men in Black race (called the Marcabians) but unfortunately is knocked out cold and captured. Agent Rafferty is tasked with transporting a payload (that he does not know is a restrained Comdor) to a research facility, but the Men in Black have other plans.

Wow! I didn't think PM Entertainment would be capable of science fiction this good, but I have been (happily) proven wrong. This is actually very good stuff. The action quotient is very, very high and the science fiction elements work well. This is the kind of thing that the SyFy channel should be spending their money on - less CG creature-features and more Men in Black with exploding cars!

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Jack Scalia is believable as a Secret Service agent. He plays the role cool and professionally, and after being smacked in the face with the proof aliens exist just gets on with his job - to protect the payload - however, Dennis Christopher is very good as Comdor, and has the required "what is this human emotion you call love?" quirks down pat (though in this movie that line is not uttered, but you get the drift). He admits his race is pacifist, which comes across in his inability to (initially) fire a weapon and his openness in giving detailed explanations about his solar system to an elderly couple in a diner over lunch. The two grow to have a good relationship that reminded me of something like a cross between Enemy Mine and Twins. Carlos Lauchu's Lekin was also entertaining in a manic way, laughing evilly when given the opportunity.

For a PM film, the special effects were actually extremely good. Of course we are used to PM pulling out all the stops when a car needs to blow up, but we had a few good alien spaceship shots, the Stargate-like portal, green blood and a few other other-worldy type effects. Colour me impressed, but this was better quality than most made-for-TV even today. 

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The action? It's PM so there was a lot of it. There was and endless supply of cars running into other cars, or launching off other cars into trucks and choppers. A few buildings exploded, with the obligatory slow-motion jump from the fireball. Every second person had an automatic weapon and was not afraid to shoot it at somebody else with an automatic weapon. So suffice to say, there was plenty of action in Silencers to keep the audience enthralled. It also seemed to me that everybody was doing their own stunts, particularly Scalia. There were scenes where he was climbing all over a moving truck that definitely was no stunt double. He spent a few minutes hanging off the side off a tanker moving at high speed, shooting at enemy aliens. I couldn't see any harness and it was definitely not green-screen, so big props to Scalia and everyone else who had the guts to perform stunts in Silencers.

Overall this was one of the best PM films I've seen to date. The action was practically non-stop, the story and acting were of high quality and there was no dull parts (outside a few minutes at Rafferty's ex-wife's house - though this did get to show us Comdor relating to Rafferty's son). Definitely recommended for fans of science fiction with high action.

Highlight:

Outside the 14 or so cars that flipped, I think the highlight for me was the truck vs. helicopter chase that ended with Rafferty launching a car into the chopper, it crashing to the ground in flames.. and Rafferty walking away from the upturned car with barely a scratch. This is Die Hard territory, folks! 

Sourced From:

A very bad transfer on the Payless Entertainment R4 DVD that squishes Silencers with another PM film, Hologram Man, onto the one disc. This would be fine except they only used a single-layer disc, so the compression is severe and blocks up consistently. Best to buy another edition. Runtime approx. 100 minutes.

Trailer:

2 comments:

  1. Great review! Love exploding and flipped over cars in PM movies. Will try to get a copy right away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure you will dig this one, Ty! The car flipping quota is indeed high.

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