During recent weekends, I had spent some leisure time to watch three action movies on cable television.
The three movies shared a common thread: the principal character was more or less a lone wolf operative, with military background; trained in covert operations & skilled in weaponry.
Although they did not have the plot intensity or complexity when compared with any of the recent 'Bourne' or even 'Bond' movies, they were generally entertaining.
For me, entertainment comes first when I watch a movie.
The first one was 'Target'.
The second movie was 'Avenger', starring Sam Elliott as Calvin Dexter. He played a highly decorated Vietnam war veteran, & an ex-tunnel rat with the Special Forces, who had turned himself into a mercenary for hire.
This movie was roughly based on Frederick Forsyth's novel. I had read many of the author's works e.g. 'Day of the Jackal', 'The Odessa File', 'Dogs of War', during my younger days. Many of his works had been made into movies bearing the same names.
Tormented by the death of his only daughter in the hands of a Panamanian drug dealer, whom he subsequently eliminated, he reluctantly embarked on a personal mission to knock off the bad guys for a price, especially when the authorities had refused to bring them to justice.
In the movie, he took on a contract to locate the only son of a rich & powerful businessman. The latter had apparent connections with the CIA top brass. The son had gone missing while undertaking a missionary trip to war-torn Bosnia. In an earlier scene, his son was actually shot to death by a Bosnian army colonel, Zoran Zilic.
Using leads from the CIA, Calvin managed to trace the rogue colonel to South Africa, & unwittingly his current quest interfered with a CIA sting operation involving the bad guy. It turned out that the CIA also wanted to neutralise Calvin too as a precautionary measure.
A deadly cat & mouse game ensued but our hero was able to outsmart & outmanoeuvre the CIA field operatives as well as the bad guy at the end. The rogue colonel was eventually caught & repatriated to the United States for justice to be served.
Throughout the movie, I found it rather intriguing to watch the dirty workings of the CIA top brass as portrayed, with excellent acting by James Cromwell & Timothy Hutton. They had no qualms in eliminating even, in this case, a highly decorated war hero, for the sake of 'national security'.
Frankly, I did not like the ending part of the movie as CIA was publicly credited for the arrest of the rogue colonel. I guess, in a way, this arrangement would probably allow our unsung hero to continue his personal quest. As he rode off in his four wheels, the apt tagline at the back of the vehicle read: 'NO PEACE WITHOUT JUSTICE'.
Sam Elliott, as Calvin Dexter, certainly impressed me very much in this movie. Tall, thin & wiry, he was a classic picture of the true American hero. I had only watched one of his earlier action movies, 'Hulk'.
In the end analysis, & for me, the movie was entertaining, as far as the plot & action sequences were concerned.