Cinemax Friday: Tactical Assault (1998, directed by Mark Griffiths)


War does strange things to people.

Captain Doc Holiday (Rutger Hauer!) was a damn good air force pilot until 1991.  During the Gulf War, he snapped and tried to shoot down a civilian airline that was flying over Iraqi airspace.  The only thing that stopped Holiday from committing a crime against humanity was his best friend, Capt. Lee Banning (Robert Patrick!!).  Banning fired on Holiday, shooting down his plane.  As a result, while Banning’s been moving up the ranks, Holiday has spent the last six years in an Iraqi POW camp.

By the time Holiday gets out, Banning is now a colonel and he’s married.  His wife (Isabel Glasser) is pregnant.  Banning seems to have everything he could want but he’s haunted by guilt over what happened to Holiday.  He arranges for Holiday to be assigned to his unit and tries to make amends.  Unfortunately, for Banning and his wife, Holiday holds a grudge and he’s played by Rutger Hauer so you know he’s not going to let things go anytime soon.

Is Tactical Assault worth tracking down?  It’s a low budge action movie that stars not only Robert Patrick but also Rutger Hauer so the answer should be obvious.  Of course it’s worth tracking down!  Robert Patrick and Rutger Hauer were direct-to-video film gods and putting them in the same movie is like getting the ghosts of Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, and Ralph Richardson to all star in an afterlife production of Macbeth.  Along with being convincing in action scenes, both Robert Patrick and Rutger Hauer could actually act so there’s a little more more depth to Tactical Assault than just Top Gun-style dogfights.  Of course, if all you’re looking for is Top Gun-style dogfights, Tactical Assault has got you covered.  This is a movie that understands that some things can only be settled in the sky.

Finally, the main reason you should see Tactical Assault is because it has a scene where Rutger Hauer chases Robert Patrick … in a tank!  It doesn’t get much better than that!

One response to “Cinemax Friday: Tactical Assault (1998, directed by Mark Griffiths)

  1. Pingback: Lisa’s Week In Review — 4/6/20 — 4/12/20 | Through the Shattered Lens

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