It can’t be taken seriously by any manner of means, thanks to Wynorski’s dedication to folly and its inevitable comeuppance. A shopping mall, night, two security robots like mobile trash cans, teenagers in for a bit of fun, and sheer carny mayhem, the point of it all being Star Wars sent up on its own ground for good and all, one year before Spaceballs.
Militia opens like Shane with a difference: the little boy’s rifle is loaded this time.
Its remarkable shifts of mood and feeling are the very stuff of Wynorski’s style, which is a blur and a point (Chopping Mall sent up Star Wars with a bunch of teenagers locked in a mall at night and hunted down by two garbage cans on tank treads). Villains become heroes, the innocuous becomes vile, and through it all there is no sense in which it can be said anything has a fixed meaning, which is the essence of cinema syntax in a nutshell.
Dean Cain and Jennifer Beals play ATF agents badly. Frederic Forrest shapes a characterization as the militia leader. Stacy Keach enjoys himself as a talk radio host. John Beck rips into the part of an ATF commander.