The Final Sanction (1990)

The United States and the Soviet Union have engaged in a nuclear exchange, devastating the first lines of defense for both nations. In an attempt to prevent further exchange on population centers, the two world powers decide instead to pit their best soldiers in a one-on-one contest to see who is top dog. In the Soviet Union, the Russians pick Sgt. Sergei Schvackov (Robert Z’Dar of Maniac Cop), a super soldier with a photographic memory and shovel-throwing skills to rival his impressive jawline. In the United States, Sgt. Tom Batanic (Ted Prior of Deadly Prey) is selected, a former special forces soldier who was court-martialed after his squad attempted to assassinate the US Secretary of State and he was blamed. Now these two monstrous killing machines are forced to go head-to-head with the weapons of their choosing in an attempt to prevent absolute nuclear annihilation. But someone is secretly pulling their strings…

…or not so secretly. Turns out high ranking officers on both sides want to kill both of them to show the futility of war or something. Either way, Tom and Sergi end up teaming up after a series of awkward training montages and bad acting. I learned that apparently the Soviets train their troops through suicide simulators, while in America we implant microphones in people’s chest cavities. And nobody can act. Z’Dar’s work here is particularly painful among the leads, often losing his Russian accent or simply lapsing into what I think is a bad Scottish one. He’s not the only offender though; the Russian Major comes and goes, and all of the “Russians” try to speak in a whisper constantly. But the worst acting of the film goes to the US Senator’s secretary, who emotes about as well as a toilet seat. Thankfully she gets killed off about half an hour in.

I know what you’re thinking: “So the acting sucks. Why should I watch this?”

Explosions.

Once things get going, it’s pure Prior and Z’Dar screaming and firing from the hip as shit blows up around them and they get badly-constructed injuries. I learned that Chiclets can be used to help heal bullet wounds. And throwing shovels is a really effective tactic in war. Dig it?

Also, Sergei likes all women!

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