War/Military R Running time: 1:30
IMDB rating: 5.6 Aspect: Wide; Languages: English; Subtitles: None; Audio: DD 1.0
Volunteers from all branches of the Allied forces made up the Australian 2 Special Force Unit, which carried out a total of 284 missions during World War II. Tight, suspenseful Attack Force Z effectively dramatizes one such sortie. Five tough commandos attempt to rescue the survivors of a downed American plane on a Japanese-held island in the southwest Pacific. Their leader is Captain P.G. Kelly, played by a youthful Mel Gibson. It's Kelly's first time in charge, and his fellow commandos, especially renegade Lieutenant J.A. Veitch (John Phillip Law, the cute Soviet sailor in The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!), won't let him forget it. Kelly and Veitch's conflict raises both the mission's and the movie's tension quotient. Sam Neill (Jurassic Park, The Piano) gives a thoughtful performance as Sergeant D.J. Costello, the oldest and wisest of the troop. But the film's most compelling characters are the inhabitants of the island, Chinese villagers forced to become resistance fighters to defend their way of life against the Japanese invaders. Without them, Attack Force Z wouldn't have a chance. Handsome, unflappable Lin Chan-Lang (Koo Chuan Hsiung), a martial-arts expert, is their natural leader. Even Lin's children get into the act, including his brave and beautiful eldest daughter, Chien Hua (Sylvia Chang), whose presence lends the film a welcome element of romance.