McBain- Synapse Films Blu-Ray Review
July 14th, 2023
MOVIE: MCBAIN- SYNAPSE FILMS BLU-RAY REVIEW
STARRING: CHRISTOPHER WALKEN, MARIA CONCHITA ALONSO, MICHAEL IRONSIDE, STEVE JAMES
DIRECTED BY: JAMES GLICKENHAUS
AMovieGuy.com’s RATING: 3 STARS (Out of 4)
As someone who grew up religiously watching The Simpsons, why didn’t anybody tell me there was an actual movie called McBain? And to make it even more insane, it stars Christopher Walken. This feels like a wasted opportunity in my life and in the lives of countless people wanting to tell good jokes. The final result is not a joke, it’s actually quite awesome, with insanely dangerous action sequences, and a final product that deserves its name of McBain. Recently Synapse Films released this 1991 movie on a newly restored Blu-ray- including commentary by director James Glickenhaus- giving me the great opportunity to finally see something I would have never known existed, but boy am I glad I do now.
The reason why it is called McBain is because Walken plays the title character Robert McBain. We first meet him being marched in shackles as a prisoner of war in Viet Nam. Along with his platoon, which features a cast of actors Michael Ironside, Steve James, and Chick Vennera, they devise a plan to fight back against their captors. In the gunfire and fight, a moment arrives where Santos (Vennera) saves the life of McBain, and in his heroics, he lets Santos know that if he is ever in trouble just say when and where.
We fast forward 10 years later, with McBain working in construction, and still loyal to those who have his back. As he sits in a bar in New York, minding his business, a woman named Christina (Maria Conchita Alonso) walks in, letting him know that her father has been killed in Columbia, attempting to overthrow a ruthless dictator. When McBain hears this news, it’s an easy answer of yes, where Christina is now recruiting him and those who were saved by Santos to bring forth a successful revolution against a ruthless leader.
What may be the biggest draw for any viewer is that the reality is this movie looks and feels dangerous. When McBain finally lures his pals into the fight, it doesn’t take long for them to be approached by enemy combatants. They call in a favor on a fighter jet to get the men into Columbia, not without a fire-fight in the air, landing safely and quickly causing havoc. And boy is it havoc. I genuinely feared for everyone’s life on this set. As director & writer, Glickenhaus clearly threw caution to the wind, an incredibly dangerous approach, but the result is certainly effective. The IMDB trivia section doesn’t give any details but one would love to see the list of how many people were injured on set. What can’t be denied is that a majority of the action works. It’s equal to the less dangerous Arnold Schwarzenegger film Commando and both have similar plots. One became a massive hit and McBain went direct to video.
The ending result is that this McBain is nothing like The Simpsons McBain but I am glad Synapse Films brings it to light. It’s almost shocking to see it exist and the distribution company has put out a cool and explosive piece of action. It’s not even a movie Ironside or Walken are too fond of, but little did they know that movies like this would go by the wayside. Hell, you may not see pyrotechnic action like this ever again. This McBain knows how to light a fire.
MCBAIN IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE ON THE SYNAPSE FILMS WEBSITE HERE AND WHEREVER MOVIES ARE SOLD.
Written by: Leo Brady