Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Movie Review: Final Mission

Final Mission a.k.a. Codename 7700 - The Final Experiment
Starring: Billy Wirth, Steve Railsback, Elizabeth Gracen, Richard Bradford, Corbin Bernsen, Tim Moran, Timothy Dale Agee, Frank Zagarino, John Prosky, Beth Tegarden, Patricia Sill, Ezra Gabay, Justin Lord, Hal Havins, Jerry Giles, Jack Eiseman, Rick Ike Jones, Barry Zetlin, Anthony Dean Fields
Director: Lee Redmond
Hess/Kallberg Productions, Trimark Pictures, USA, 1994.
Final Mission title
Captains Tom "Outlaw" Waters (Billy Wirth) and David 'Hound Dog' Matthews (Tim Moran) are Air Force pilots. They are testing new virtual reality flight system supervised by Colonel Glen Anderson (Steve Railsback) and General Morgan Breslaw (Corbin Bernsen). Hound Dog dies on the test flight. Anderson and Breslaw say that the accident was not caused by the virtual reality system. All the pilots assigned to the project see nightmares.
Billy Wirth
Tom "Outlaw" Waters
Corbin Bernsen
General Morgan Breslaw
Steve Railsback
Colonel Glen Anderson
Defense secretary Spencer wants to scale down the military spending. The virtual reality project boss Maurice Vick (Richard Bradford) does not like the idea. You know that he is suspicious because he has picture of Nixon on his shelf.
Richard Bradford
Maurice Vick
VR looks like 90s video game
Meanwhile Outlaw imitates Tom Cruise and flirts with Caitlin Cole  (Elizabeth Gracen). They start a hot romance. Then Outlaw does some detective work. The project is also a brainwashing project where mind control drugs and flashing number codes are used to command the pilots, kind of "Manchurian Candidate" with fighter jets.
Elizabeth Gracen
Caitlin Cole
Brainwash code activated!
Another VR nightmare
The plot then takes a silly twist. After the brainwashing is (seemingly) revealed, Outlaw still continues the test flights. He is a threat to the project now, so he has to fight the other brainwashed pilots. Especially what happens to one police officer is illogical in light of later events. The plot holes become gaping chasms. Still there is some good action with spy stuff.
Sheldon (Beth Tegarden) and Wyatt (John Prosky) are worried
Outlaw escaping a pursuer
It seems that same stock footage was used also in the film "Flight of Black Angel". The virtual reality looks like the computer graphics looked in the 1990s haviing crude and low resolution. Because of this the movie has a nice visual retro style. Also the music (by Richard Marvin) brings up some memories of 90s techno music. It seems that Richard Marvin composed music for many direct to video movies before getting into higher profile TV-projects ("O.C.", "Six Feet Under" and "Grimm") and movies such as "U-571" and "Surrogates" (whose director Jonathan Mostow also made Hess/Kallberg movie "Flight of the Black Angel" for which Marvin also made the music!).

Rating: Average


  1. I watched this on Movies4men. This was an interesting idea. I enjoyed the electronic music and sound effects during the virtual reality sequences. The plot could have been more interesting had Tom been working with one of the other pilots to uncover the truth, I thought this would happen but the second pilot was quickly killed off. Having another pilot betray Tom by own choice rather than mind control would be more shocking than revealing Tom's new girlfriend as spying on him and then as a caring friend. I also think the nightmares should have been much worse than a few blurry VR flying scenes! They would dream of flying over shattered and broken cities or bombing the homes of their loved ones. The control stimulus was boring, how about a symbol or pattern? Seeing it in reality could provoke terror or violence like in Spellbound, the hero has a panic attack when a white candlewick bedspread reminds him of a skiing accident. A controlling sound or melody over the radio as used in the Ipcress File would have been more frightening still.

    1. Yeah, with different direction & sctipt it could have been effective psychological thriller.


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