Avenging Force

Avenging Force pays homage to Enter the Dragon, and bears similarities to Clouse’s great remake, Force: Five, but the cult or sect it has to do with is an American band of Nazis with a curious variant of the Hitler salute. They firebomb a black political candidate, and this brings in a skillful chum who busts the bunch up.

The peculiar beauty of the finale, a knock-down drag-out fight in a foyer, is that the big chief of these brigands dies impaled on the spear of an ebony or bronze statue.

And so, something as seemingly remote as Enter the Dragon comes home. “An image isn’t great because it’s brutal or fantastic,” Godard points out, “but by the distance of the associations it unites.”


The Alternate (Agent of Death)

In vain one looks for the virtue that starves but is praised. Here is a film so bare in its devices as to give full witness to the truth it places up on the screen, the wing-collared traitor and parvenu.

That’s all, and the entire film is a setting for his antics. Marvelously sublime they are, too, taking advantage of a Machiavelli’s gambit to seize the day on a cold calculation belied by the squint of madness that comes over him.

But take the plot, a losing President’s re-election bid is meant to be boosted by an adviser’s plan to stage a kidnapping under Secret Service auspices, only the thing goes awry and the President is kidnapped for real. If that isn’t value for money, what use is criticism?