Reviewed by: JimmyO
What's it about
The Recon team has been sent to a remote desert area to fight some Ma’har storm troopers. Once there, it seems that there may be a traitor in command sending them into mortal danger… but maybe they should have noticed that the bitch seem crazy.
Is it good movie?
Here we go again, those rough and tumble men and women who fight all sorts of baddies are back in Recon 2023: The Gauda Prime Conspiracy. The Recon films are generally a shot of ultra low budget adrenaline fun. They display a bunch of cheap special effects over a helping of guns, gore and some nudity for good measure. And up until now, they seemed to be improving. But this time around, the action really doesn’t kick in until about an hour into the running time, up until then, it is loaded with setting up the plot and exploring a couple of new characters. Don’t worry though, the old ones are back, including Lt. Sharp (Anderson Bradshaw), Dr. Scott Anderson (Deke Richards) and the rest of the rag tag team of tough ladies and gents. And this third time around, the film seems to rely on the “chemistry” between the actors as opposed to the silly, over-the-top action.
I will say, that the Recon films seem to improve visually each time around. Director Christian Viel is getting more and more comfortable and once again, chooses a few interesting locales to film this latest entry. Yet, somehow it all feels slow and ponderous as the attempts at humor don’t always work. Yet, there are the occasional bouts of weirdness that are fairly entertaining, including a Seventies exploitation moment with Doctor Scott, and even the giant chicken thing was sort of fun… terrible effects, but I won’t cry fowl. But seriously, the comedy is played heavily in this third chapter, so much so, that the action is only scattered throughout. I was hoping for a little less talk, and much more violence and bloodshed. Because no matter how bad the CG is, for some reason these movies always get really inventive with the murderous monsters and mayhem.
My biggest complaint has to be the pacing of the film. As I mentioned, it takes so long to get to the final battle, and up until then, we are treated to a far from subtle winking at the audience from the bad guys, including a hottie that can’t keep her hand off a gun during a video conference… yeah, no one will know you are a crazy, psycho chick at all with that kind of attitude. Yep, nothing subtle about Edith Labelle (UFC’s “Octagon Girl”) and her fighter of all things good, “The Face” (Lael Stellick) who looks like he is trying to be Freddy Kruger for Halloween. And yes, the man, the myth and just all around cool ass Mr. Arrow in the Head himself is back as Merc. In fact, his awesomeness John Fallon not only appears as his rape happy character, he also co-wrote the script with director Viel.
This is still a fun little no budget, cheesy effects, and enough nudity STV that you may have a good time. But it is not nearly as infectious as the first two. So yeah, while there are definitely a bunch of fun moments in Recon 2023, it feels like it should have been cut down and used as the opening for the upcoming sequel, that looks like it may just focus on Mr. Fallon as a main bad dude. Give us more action next time around, and it’ll be a load more engaging all around.
Video / Audio
Video: At least this 1.78:1 Anamorphic Transfer looks pretty good.
Audio: The Dolby 5.1 is also fine, but it occasionally gets a little inconsistent.
Wow, while this was not my favorite Recon film, I still would’ve appreciated some extras. Nothing here.
The Recon movies are entertaining for what they are, low budget sci-fi flicks with gore and nudity. The acting is sometimes good and oftentimes not, but it doesn’t matter because they are usually so much fun. 2023, was not nearly as amusing as the first two and took much too much time to get to the real action… and I’m not talking about the killer chicken. It feels as if this chapter could have been merely a beginning to another film, and not an entire movie alone. Sure it looks better, and the effects are getting better with each film, but there just didn’t seem to be enough story here to warrant an entire film. Next time however, maybe we’ll get to see Merc get down and nasty with whatever Recon is left.