The Human Shield
THE STORY:This movie takes me back a bit. I didn't enjoy Desert Shield/Storm. as a matter of fact I didn't even want to be there at all. To set the record straight I don't hate Iraqis or Arabs in general. That would be foolish and it would make me no better than any other racists...and the Inferno hates racists. But the middle east is a part of the world that seems to be in constant struggle. A lot of violence has taken place there and takes place even today. Back in the early nineties it was definitely not the place to be if you were an American.
Douglas Matthews is one such American. He's some kind of attaché to the embassy and dies some job that requires him to work with the Iraqi military. However he gets rightfully upset when an Iraqi military leader, Ali Dallal, has a village of innocent Iranians eliminated. When he sees Dallal personally shoot an old woman he goes ballistic and attacks him. The two men scuffle and Dallal receives a scar on his face for the trouble.
Years later, (but obviously before Desert shield) Douglas is in the states. His brother, Ben, is in Iraq as a teacher, but with the tensions building is trying to leave with his wife and baby daughter. That doesn't work out. Dallal has Ben detained, but his family is free to leave.
Hearing of this Douglas goes to the Pentagon to see if they can help. They won't, but Doug goes back to Iraq by himself to try and save his brother. There he meets his old flame, an Iraqi female, named Lila. Lila is married to Dallal, but she used to be an item with Douglas. Doug learns later that Lila only married Dallal to keep Dallal from killing him. She has a son by Dallal, though.
Doug also meets with an old friend, Tanzi. Tanzi is some kind of rebel guy. They arrange to meet a representative of the American Embassy, but during the meeting the representative is killed. Doug and Tanzi barely escape. Tanzi takes Doug to a small village outside of Baghdad. the villagers are happy to help, but Dallal has somehow tracked them down. Dallal demands that the villagers hand Doug over. if they do he won't hurt them. Doug, not wanting to see Dallal massacre this village surrenders, but as soon as he does, Dallal has the entire village executed including Tanzi.
All is not lost! Lila has some soldiers that are loyal to her free Doug. Doug attempts to free his brother but is almost caught and killed. His brother has been moved by Dallal. Doug makes it back to Lila's place where she tells him that she only married Dallal to save his life. she still loves Doug. she tells him to wait for a few hours and she'll be back. Unfortunately, Dallal confronts Lila in her room in his house (They live in different houses? What kinda whacked out marriage is this?) He knows that she's seen Doug, more by mere jealousy and hatred of Doug than facts. Dallal then beats her up and rapes her. He tells Lila that she is to no longer enjoy any kind of freedom and that she is no longer to consider herself mother to his son. Yep, I can actually buy that. Women don't have many rights in Iraq and the surrounding countries. Dallal then tells her that he plans on taking their son to see him execute Ben, and locks her in the room.
Luckily for Lila, Doug got tired of waiting. He shows up, sneaks inside and stops one of Dallal's thugs from killing her. They force the thug to tell them where Ben is being held (a chemical plant) and go there. Dallal, who was on his way there to kill Ben is held up by a call from his superiors. He's ordered to let all of the hostages go, but he tells his lackey to let all off them go but Ben. He wants his revenge.
Dallal gets within a hairs breadth of killing Ben but Doug is already there and stops him. A short fight begins and Dallal escapes the room. Lila takes her son and Ben to their waiting car while Doug goes looking for Dallal in the plant. Doug finds some sort of control room, and forces the workers out by gunpoint. Then he destroys all of the equipment sounding an alert. This was actually kind of smart. An evacuation ensues allowing Lila and the others to escape more easily. Of course, being an action movie, Dallal shows up and he has a fight to the finish with Doug. Doug gets stabbed in the leg (of course...all movie heroes always get hurt in the leg so they can still fight but limp away when its over) and he finds a tub of some kind of chemical in the room. He douses Dallal with it then throws him on a burning control panel. Dallal goes up like a bonfire. The plant begins to explode, but Doug makes it out just in time. driving away with his brother, Lila and her son we can only assume they all made it out of Iraq intact.
Now one thing I noticed in this movie...Lila is fine as HELL! That's not suprising though. Most of the women I saw in the Gulf were covered up, but some of them that weren't were really beautiful. Its a shame that they wear those black ninja suits. (We used to call them "Ninja women") Douglas was actor Michael Dudikoff. Dudikoff has that kind of nature about him that makes me like his movies even when they're really bad. This one wasn't that bad, but c'mon....we all knew it'll work out for him in the end.
Best Lines:"Doug, my marriage to Dallal was a deal...if I didn't marry him you would have been killed....and I couldn't deal with it. I was educated to accept everything in life as fate. But in my world fate is controlled by men. And to my husband, revenge is sacred and hatred noble!"-Lila tells Doug why she married a blackguard like Dallal.
"No...I love your scar because it reminds me of the man who did it!"- Lila tells Dallal in a roundabout way that she loves Douglas.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?:
1.)Its a damn, dirty world sometimes. But Douglas seems suprised that the Iraqis would decimate a village of innocent people at the beginning of this movie...um, okay, I'll buy that. Its such an inhuman deed I find it hard to believe sometimes even when I see it on the news. But the Iraqi commander, Dallal, tells him to shut up when he complains saying that he'll report him for insubordination. Hohoho. Douglas, by the rank insignia on his collar is a COLONEL. So even if this Iraqi guy is a general I don't think that's going to cause him too much grief. Douglas may be assigned to train the Iraqis on tactics, but he's not going to be under their command. Even if he was I don't think he'd get in too much trouble. Dallal just ordered his men to kill innocent civilians!
2.)Right! Douglas sneaks into Iraq by sheer luck. He hides in the back of a big truck going over the border, but the soldiers check the underside before they look into the bed. At the same time the driver of the vehicle behind him gets out for an unknown reason. This gives Doug;as a chance to get out without that driver seeing him. Keep in mind from Doug's point of view there's no way he could tell if that driver had left the vehicle or not. After that Doug sneaks up on an Iraqi in a jeep and knocks him out, stealing the jeep. Now there were two Iraqi soldiers sitting by the jeep, but just before Doug makes his move, their superior calls them away for some unknown reason. Last but not least, as Doug flees in the stolen jeep he's pursued by the Iraqis...but he is so skillful and agile that he can lob grenades overhand and Behind (!) so well that they explode at just the right time to overturn his pursuers jeeps. Right.
3.)Did anyone expect Dallal to not execute the villagers that were hiding Douglas?
4.)Ever cut the palm of your hand? Hurts like the dickens, doesn't it? So how does Doug slide down those wires outside of the building the Iraqis set a trap for him with no hand protection. Yeah, he acts like it hurt and Lila says, "Your hands are bleeding!", but still....I don't think he'd have any skin on his palms afterward. I could buy it except he uses his hands effectively after this.
NUDITY AND SEX:None, but Lila is seen in a nightie after Dallal rapes her.
HUH?:I have doubts that the Iraqis would kill a representative of the American embassy like they did in this movie. That's one man that will be missed when he doesn't come to work and I don't see the US government falling for any crazy stories...not when the guy has bullet holes in him. Keep in mind that this movie is taking place just before the Gulf War. Think of this...in the more recent troubles in Kosovo why weren't the US soldiers that were captured killed? Because even a supreme dickhead like Milosevich knew that if he harmed them we'd bury his ass. The kid gloves come off and its clobberin' time! Granted, the Iraqi hierarchy maintained an appearance of defiance...well, good for them. But if they had in reality killed that ambassador, well, you'd be suprised what a few divisions of soldiers and marines can do to a landscape.
Why do Doug and Lila force Dallal's little henchman-assassin guy to take them to the place Doug's brother is being held? Its an unneeded risk to have him along. Lila says she knows where the place is and Doug is 1 second away from killing him. I'd just ****ing kill him.
I'm no doctor so correct me if I'm wrong...but Ben is given his insulin shots twice during the movie and both times in the arm. He's a diabetic. Now my ex-girlfriend, the much hated Molly-the bitch-from-hell, was a diabetic. She always took her shots in the stomach area. (The bitch even taught me how to do it for her...oh, she was a cunning evil wench)
THE TALLY:You can't really fault this movie too much for being a little cheesy. If you read the box you'll know it was made so the US could pat itself on the back for Desert Storm. Off the record, I resented going to the Gulf War to fight for some Oil Tycoon's wallet...but in freeing Kuwait.I'm proud of that. Damn proud. Being greeted by a bunch of Kuwaiti children after it was over will do that for you. So maybe it wasn't all bad.
PS: To Saddam Hussein...you still suck.