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      The Human Shield

      R 1992 1h 30m Action List
      Reviews 12% Audience Score 50+ Ratings A Marine-trained CIA agent (Michael Dudikoff) goes to Iraq to rescue his brother (Tommy Hinkley) from a Saddam Hussein look-alike. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      The Human Shield

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      Audience Reviews

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      Audience Member One-dimensional action set in Iraq, where naturally all the military personnel sport Saddam moustaches'. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review Audience Member Low budget 'b' movie action flick staring the legendary Michael Dudikoff. Dudikoff is as exciting as ever, but unfortunately this is one of his weaker films. It is redeamed only by a reasonably good last 25 minutes of action. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/08/23 Full Review Audience Member This movie's synopsis on the back cover boasts that it is "the first motion picture to portray the frightening and unthinkable events of the Gulf war." Really now? This movie doesn't come off nearly as seriously as it tries- and it DOES try. The man, Michael Dudikoff, gives one of his most earnest straight "acting performances," but halfway through, I think all involved just decided "fuck it," and turned this into another action adventure vehicle for Dudikoff to grimace vacantly throughout while ducking and rolling through stunt men. The plot sees old Mikey play Captain Doug Matthews, a CIA instructor sent to Iraq in the 80s who gets on the hilariously cheesy Sadam Hussein lookalikes' bad side (Ali Dallal, played by Steve Inwood). Years later, Dudikoff's brother is held hostage in Iraq, and since no one wants to help him get his kin back, he sneaks into the country himself and goes on a rampage; along the way, Duds is helped by a former flame, and races against time to save the day. I thought this was just okay. It's Dudikoff, so it's got a lot going for it already. But much of the film has Dudikoff going all dramatic on us a la Platoon Leader, and it just doesn't work. I can't say I enjoyed this more than, say, 'Moving Target' or 'Cyber Jack,' but it had its moments- the "concerned" look on Dudikoff's face whenever he sees something atrocious to human dignity, Dudikoff trying to raise his voice in anger- all were good and provided many chuckles. Watching 'the Human Shield , I'm sure that it came off as way more dramatic and serious on the written page than the end-result on my tv screen. The cast and crew in all actuality WERE probably extremely earnest and intent on sending some kind of message. Unfortunately, the actors aren't up to par, the execution of the action comes off as American Ninja-lite, and the end -result is a glorious mess of late night B movie cheese. I can't really hate on this movie, much like I can't hate on Dudikoff's other big dramatic turn in the hilarious 'Platoon Leader,' but then again I'm biased. This is definitely a sleeper in the Dudikoff library. You don't see it referenced too much by hardcore Duds fans, and I think the reasons outlined above explain why. It's not campy enough to be great, but it's not capable to be taken seriously either. As an end result, it is just another excuse to see Michael Dudikoff save the day, kick some ass, and get the girl. Really, is there anything else you want to see at the end of the day? I enjoyed it, but I can't say I didn't sneak in an episode of Cobra or two halfway through the sitting. This movie is one of the last Michael did for Cannon films, and while there are still vestiges of Golan Globus goodness (especially in the anti-Arab stereotypes and terrorist caricatures), the glory days of 'American Ninja' excess were over. Hardcore Dudikoff fans will want to check this out if they haven't seen it already- it's only on VHS, so it might be tough to track down, but you shouldn't have (and wouldn't want) to pay more than a buck for it used. All others would be advised to check out Avenging Force or the American Ninja movies first, to understand the huge impact of Michael Dudikoff on bad action. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/17/23 Full Review Audience Member This movie's synopsis on the back cover boasts that it is "the first motion picture to portray the frightening and unthinkable events of the Gulf war." Really now? This movie doesn't come off nearly as seriously as it tries- and it DOES try. The man, Michael Dudikoff, gives one of his most earnest straight "acting performances," but halfway through, I think all involved just decided "fuck it," and turned this into another action adventure vehicle for Dudikoff to grimace vacantly throughout while ducking and rolling through stunt men. The plot sees old Mikey play Captain Doug Matthews, a CIA instructor sent to Iraq in the 80s who gets on the hilariously cheesy Sadam Hussein lookalikes' bad side (Ali Dallal, played by Steve Inwood). Years later, Dudikoff's brother is held hostage in Iraq, and since no one wants to help him get his kin back, he sneaks into the country himself and goes on a rampage; along the way, Duds is helped by a former flame, and races against time to save the day. I thought this was just okay. It's Dudikoff, so it's got a lot going for it already. But much of the film has Dudikoff going all dramatic on us a la Platoon Leader, and it just doesn't work. I can't say I enjoyed this more than, say, 'Moving Target' or 'Cyber Jack,' but it had its moments- the "concerned" look on Dudikoff's face whenever he sees something atrocious to human dignity, Dudikoff trying to raise his voice in anger- all were good and provided many chuckles. Watching 'the Human Shield , I'm sure that it came off as way more dramatic and serious on the written page than the end-result on my tv screen. The cast and crew in all actuality WERE probably extremely earnest and intent on sending some kind of message. Unfortunately, the actors aren't up to par, the execution of the action comes off as American Ninja-lite, and the end -result is a glorious mess of late night B movie cheese. I can't really hate on this movie, much like I can't hate on Dudikoff's other big dramatic turn in the hilarious 'Platoon Leader,' but then again I'm biased. This is definitely a sleeper in the Dudikoff library. You don't see it referenced too much by hardcore Duds fans, and I think the reasons outlined above explain why. It's not campy enough to be great, but it's not capable to be taken seriously either. As an end result, it is just another excuse to see Michael Dudikoff save the day, kick some ass, and get the girl. Really, is there anything else you want to see at the end of the day? I enjoyed it, but I can't say I didn't sneak in an episode of Cobra or two halfway through the sitting. This movie is one of the last Michael did for Cannon films, and while there are still vestiges of Golan Globus goodness (especially in the anti-Arab stereotypes and terrorist caricatures), the glory days of 'American Ninja' excess were over. Hardcore Dudikoff fans will want to check this out if they haven't seen it already- it's only on VHS, so it might be tough to track down, but you shouldn't have (and wouldn't want) to pay more than a buck for it used. All others would be advised to check out Avenging Force or the American Ninja movies first, to understand the huge impact of Michael Dudikoff on bad action. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/28/23 Full Review Audience Member More gung-ho jingoistics featuring Michael 'American Ninja' Dudikoff; a man who seems content to let his eyebrows do most of the acting. I saw this after catching the trailer on my VHS copy of 'Navy Seals'; which covers similar ground and has bigger stars and budget, but no more brains. Perhaps understanding that another revisit to 'Nam would be akin to flogging a dead VC, Cannon Films turned their attention to the Middle East for this tale of a Government Agent (Dudikoff) forced into action when his brother is kidnapped by a Saddam Hussein stunt double. Strangely, this noisy piece of claptrap is credited to be the first fictional movie to 'deal with' the original Persian Gulf War. Directed by TV veteran Ted Post, who'd previously worked with Clint and Chuck and made 'Beneath The Planet of The Apes', which I kind of adore. Rated 1 out of 5 stars 02/17/23 Full Review Audience Member Fast-paced, lively and ambitious low-budget action flick, is completely brainless but won't bore you, unique as it's one of the first action flicks set in post-gulf war Iraq. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/05/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Movie Info

      Synopsis A Marine-trained CIA agent (Michael Dudikoff) goes to Iraq to rescue his brother (Tommy Hinkley) from a Saddam Hussein look-alike.
      Director
      Ted Post
      Producer
      Christopher Pearce, Elie Cohn
      Production Co
      Cannon Pictures Inc.
      Rating
      R
      Genre
      Action
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Sep 1, 2009
      Runtime
      1h 30m
      Sound Mix
      Stereo, Surround
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