Part of the "men-on-a-mission" cycle of the action war films craze during the 80's Era, spreading the jingoistic 'feelgood' of the Reagan Administration, "Let's Get Harry", directed by the veteran filmmaker, Stuart Rosenberg ("Cool Hand Luke", "The Amityville Horror"), tells the story of a group of blue collar workers from the Midwest who hire two Vietnam vets for a mission to rescue the older brother of one of them, held captive in Colombia by a drug dealer.
Rosenberg disowned the film, apparently when the producers took full control over the editing process and the film's direction is then credited to Alan Smithee, the well-known pseudonym used by directors who don't want their involvement in a film.
"Let's Get Harry" starts with a sloppy staged kidnapping scene in Colombia, where Harry Burck Jr. (played by hearthrob Mark Harmon) and an American Ambassador become hostages of Carlos Ochobar and his personal guerrilla, then the movie cuts to a factory situated in Mid-America for the credits roll that looks & feels straight out from a Bruce Springsteen's song.
Harry's younger brother, Corey (played by the 'prince charming' from John Hughes' "Sixteen Candles", Michael Schoeffling), when the U.S. government fails to negociate with the Colombian terrorists, convinces his co-workers and Harry's old buds, Spence (played by the musician / Eagles frontman, Glenn Frey); Kurt (action cult favorite, Rick Rossovich, from "The Terminator", "Top Gun" & "Navy Seals") & Pachowski (Thom "Biff Tannen" Wilson) to "Let's Get Harry" by themselves with the help of an used cars' salesman, Smiling Jack (the scene-stealer Gary Busey from "Big Wednesday", "Lethal Weapon" & "Point Break"), who is funding the rescue, and the guidance & military expertise of a 'Medal of Honor' honoree turned mercenary, Norman Shrike (played by the legendary Academy Award Winner, Robert Duvall).
The movie then moves to Colombia and some of the "Uncommon Valor"'s tried-seriousness went downhill when the things started to look cheap: the sets, the three major supporting actors upstaging the 4 leads (who are the leads anyway ?) and the writing making use of the "suspension of desbelief" to levels beyond imagination (the Duvall character explaining to 3 blue collar guys who had never shot a gun how to fire and 5 minutes later they are all turned into Rambo). It looks like the movie was originally longer to explain some of the plot devices, but key scenes got cut in the editing room for pacing reasons to keep the film in the less than the 100 minutes mark (probably the reason why Rosenberg disowned the film).
It was released in the Halloween day of '86 and was a major flop, both critically and comercially, ending the careers of his rising young stars, especially Thomas F. Wilson and Michael Schoeffling, who had his last breath in Hollywoodland with the sleeper hit, "Mermaids" ('90) before giving up the acting business.
Busey recovered the following year with the major hit, "Lethal Weapon" and Rossovich with "Roxanne". Duvall went unaffected due to his status, but started taking only supporting parts.
In short, "Let's Get Harry" works as a piece of pure escapism (like watching a Cannon Group action flick with a bit more money spent), it got plenty of 80's 'feelgood' moments: the true friendship, the patriotism, the moral, the 'cheese', the 'on-liners' and an adequate synthesizer orchestration provided by Brad Fiedel (from "The Terminator" fame), that all together can put a big smile on the face of an 80's enthusiast.
7.5 / 10 in my book.
Let's Get Harry
Action / Adventure
Let's Get Harry
Action / Adventure
Harry Burck has been kidnapped by South American terrorists, and when the US Government refuses to intervene, Harry's friends decide to take matters into their own hands!
September 15, 2023 at 03:11 PM
Tech specs720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1 hr 42 min