Because you need more Mark Dacascos in your life!
Mark Dacascos. Despite an already large catalog of leading roles under his belt, he became even more widely known as The Chairman on Iron Chef.
Dacascos is really one of the most underrated action heroes to come out of the 90s and he needs to be recognized for that more. In 1999, he teamed up with director Mark L. Lester and the result is maybe one of the best all around efforts in the Dacascos catalog. The Base!
1) Directed by Mark L. Lester
Lester gave us the ultimate Arnie classic Commando as well as the buddy martial arts team up of Lundgren and Lee in Showdown In Little Tokyo, so it’s no surprise he delivers in the action department. What really did impress me was that The Base was just as much a military, crime thriller as much as it was an action movie. It succeeds in both areas.
2) It Stars Mark Dacascos!
The story really draws you in. It sees Dacascos as a Major, one of the best the military has to offer, who is recruited to investigate the activities at a base near the Mexican border. This is where Tim Abell (Soldiers of Fortune Inc/We Were Soldiers/Strategic Command) comes in, he is the lead senior officer there and on the side, he leads a group doing everything from drug trafficking with the biggest cartels to gun running as well.
The first time we see Abell, he enters the room of a deal going down, throat punches the dealer and proceeds to slam his head over and over into a table, white stuff flying everywhere. Hell of an intro!
Dacascos gets to the base and wastes no time showing off his martial arts skills when some of the guys are training with sticks. The sparring session goes from friendly to intense quick. It is a really good and extended fight scene that sees Dacascos taking on the whole crew basically. “I’m gonna partner up with old Jackie Chan over here while you all lick your wounds!”, Abell says.
Of course this leads to Dacascos getting the attention of Abelll and it becomes one of the best aspects of the film. The growing relationship with the two as Dacascos gains more trust and it allows him to get in on the groups extracurricular activities.
3) It’s Basically Point Break
This is where I felt there are some cool comparisons with classics like Point Break. I mean, there are no extreme sports of course (even though Dacascos rides an awesome motorcycle), but I see similarities with the whole going undercover and getting close to the criminals thing. I love that about this film.
4) Tim Abell’s Killer Performance
Abell’s performance as the corrupt military man with his own set of rules, was spectacular and filled with personality. Throwing out lines like; “You see out here, I’m the big dick!” and talking about his legacy; “Now one day I will be buried in Arlington.
But until that day, I want to be known as the Godfather of LA.” Dacascos held his own very well too and proves he can execute a dramatic scene just as well as well as he can throw a kick.
5) The Ultimate Character Actors
The beautiful Paula Trickey (Maniac Cop II) plays the Lieutenant that is Dacascos’ contract he reports to throughout the film. As things heat up and his cover gets blown, Abell and company end up taking her and what an awesome, action packed finale we get! We get some memorable kills and gunplay combined with a couple more nice fights as well. Lets just say the climatic showdown between Dacascos and Abell is, ‘electrifying’.
Some other notable cast members include Madison Mason (Pearl Harbor/Flight of the Intruder/Eagle Eye/Deadly Ransom), Darcas Macopson (Chill Factor), Noah Blake (Running Red) and Frederick Coffin (Hard to Kill). Also have to mention that the fight choreographer was none other than the legendary James Lew, of The Perfect Weapon, Timecop and Big Trouble In Little China fame. Just to name a few, he is a martial arts legend in front of and behind the camera, so no wonder that aspect of the film was top notch.
Dacascos, Abell and director Mark L. Lester team up and deliver an underrated gem that will please fans of military conspiracy thrillers and action junkies alike! Seek this one out UAMC readers.